NC-03/NC-09 – Both Republican candidates in North Carolina’s two special congressional elections emerged victorious Tuesday evening, filling two vacant seats on Capitol Hill and giving Republicans two more votes against Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In the Third District on the coast, Dr. Greg Murphy thoroughly thumped former Greenville mayor Allen Thomas, winning almost 62 percent of the vote and all but one of the Third District’s 17 counties. Murphy, who has pledged to join the Freedom Caucus, fills the vacancy left after the death of the late Congressman Walter Jones. The size of the Republican’s victory is mere confirmation that eastern North Carolina dark red, and will remain so in 2020.
The implications of Republican Dan Bishop’s victory in the Ninth District special election, though, are much more noteworthy. In a race that turned out to be as close as advertised, Bishop bested Democrat Dan McCready by less than 4,000 votes out of nearly 200,000 total.
Democrats, after weeks of asserting this election was a referendum on the president, have now fallen quiet. Despite the tight race, and the fact that a Republican victory simply maintains about 50 years of Republican representation for the Ninth District, this was a huge loss for Democrats in North Carolina and nationally.
Consider the scale of Democrats’ failure here:
A razor thin Republican victory in the 2018 election is thrown out by the State Board of Elections due to (suspicion of) fraud on Republican’s part; a new special election is called and the original Republican candidate drops out as he has become radioactive; the Democrat never skips a beat, raises millions more dollars from Democrats nationalizing the race and gets nearly a whole extra year to campaign; the special Republican primary winner is literally the ‘Architect of H.B.2′ and has already been smeared by the Left with extremist labels; Democrats’ GOTV operation puts them ahead in early voting; and on election night it is the REPUBLICAN giving a victory speech.
You won’t likely find any to admit it, but considering all of these variables working in the Democrats’ favor, this loss must be demoralizing and foreboding.
Foreboding because even in a special election with the wind at their back, egg on the face of Republicans, a tight district, and an opponent they’d profess to welcome – they lost. What does that mean for 2020 from the top of the ticket to the bottom? It probably means that the Keep America Great train has more momentum than the Left cares to admit.