Dead Heat in NC-09 Special Election?

RALEIGH – While the special election in eastern North Carolina (NC-03) is taking place in a securely Republican district, the other special election in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District is much more of a toss up, despite Republicans holding the seat for the last 50 years. There the Republican State Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) is facing off against Democrat and solar investor Dan McCready and pollsters are indicating the two are neck and neck.

Now, like any poll, this one should be taken with a grain of salt. Especially so because it was conducted by a Democratic outfit that is purposely framing questions that put Bishop in a negative light.

From the Hill:

“[A] survey, conducted by the Democratic firm ALG Research, shows McCready and Bishop tied at 46 percent each among likely voters in the district’s September 10 special election, while another 8 percent of likely voters said they were undecided.

When respondents were told about Bishop’s 2017 state Senate vote against a bill allowing pharmacists to discuss lower-cost alternative drugs with patients, McCready’s support in the race went up to 51 percent, according to the internal poll, while Bishop dropped to 43 percent and 6 percent remained undecided.

In a memo, pollsters John Anzalone and Kevin Akin said that McCready was in a “competitive position” to flip a district that has been held by Republicans since 1963 and one carried by President Trump in 2016 by more than 11 points.

“NC-09 is an opportunity for Democrats to expand their margin in Congress by winning a hard-fought election in a district carried by Donald Trump,” the pollsters wrote. […]”

Are these really honest to goodness pollsters? Or propagandists? The referenced memo makes it clear that the firm desperately wants the Democrat to win, excited at the prospect of flipping the district. The survey questions leave no doubt about that.

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So, while Republicans in the Ninth District should certainly keep their foot on the gas, it doesn’t mean they should discount the strength of a candidate like Bishop, who was the only Republican state lawmaker to survive the 2018 midterm onslaught by Democrats.

Indeed, Bishop is a great orator with a sharp mind and knack for debate. As such, any one on one debates should favor the Republican among people that are truly on the fence in this race. It is worth noting, as well, that the political balance of the district itself leans Republican.

Republicans hold a 9-point lead over Democrats on a generic congressional ballot in the district — 48 percent to 39 percent, according to the internal poll. Still, the polling memo notes, McCready is outperforming a generic Democrat on that metric.

The internal poll surveyed 450 likely special election voters in the 9th District from July 15-18. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points. […]”

This is with out a doubt a tainted poll meant more to influence likely voters than to honestly take their temperature. It is not surprising that the Left is pushing such narrative in a contested race, but it will be equally unsurprising if Bishop outperforms such polls considerably.

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