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Trump, Pence Delivered Dan Bishop a Win in NC-9 Election

Republican Dan Bishop
Republican Dan Bishop after his win Tuesday night. (Nell Redmond/AP)

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 06:04 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Last-minute stumping by President Trump and Vice President Pence on behalf of conservative Republican Dan Bishop were key to his victory Tuesday night in the nationally watched special election in North Carolina's 9th District.

With near-final results in, State Sen. Bishop defeated centrist Democrat and businessman Dan McCready, 50.8% to 48.6%.

"It is a victory for President Trump and Vice President Pence, who spent Monday campaigning for Congressman-elect Bishop in North Carolina, as well as for Bishop's conservative principles," said Phil Kirk, a former North Carolina state senator and president emeritus of the state Chamber of Commerce.

Kirk added that he didn't recall "a president and vice president putting their prestige on the line for one congressional candidate in such a high-profile way in modern history."

But the tightness of the contest in the Charlotte-area district that has been in Republican hands since 1952 was a sign that the Trump-Pence ticket is going to have some problems in 2020 — particularly with suburban voters.

"The president's last-minute visit paid off for Dan Bishop, particularly in the Fayetteville area where his rally was held Monday night," Tar Heel State political analyst Marc Rotterman told Newsmax, "and you can't discount Vice President Pence barnstorming for Bishop as well."

But Rotterman also pointed out that "the race shouldn't have been this close, so Republican problems with suburban voters persist."

The special election was called earlier this year when the state Board of Elections declared the seat vacant following revelations that 2018 Republican nominee Mark Harris had engaged in an illegal practice of collecting absentee votes.

McCready, who lost to Harris by just over 900 votes, began the race as a strong favorite. As he did in '18, McCready avoided controversial positions taken by many left-of-center Democratic presidential hopefuls and instead emphasized his background as a businessman and decorated U.S. Marine.

Like Joe Biden, McCready said he was "personally opposed" to abortion but would not change present laws protecting "a woman's right to choose."

Bishop ran as a stalwart backer of Trump's and emphasized his opposition to illegal immigration, his support of the right to keep and bear arms, and his strong pro-life stance.

Estimates are that outside groups spent more than $10 million on independent expenditures on behalf of Bishop and McCready.

But in the end, it took Trump and Pence to get Bishop over the finish line.

Linda Feldmann, Washington bureau chief of The Christian Science Monitor, visited the 9th District the weekend before the balloting.

"I suspect President Trump's rally in Fayetteville made a big difference," she told us. "He got voters' attention in a conservative part of the district, and likely spurred turnout. Still, Dan Bishop won by only two percentage points in a district that Donald Trump won in 2016 by 12 points. The President still has work to do in the suburbs."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Last-minute stumping by President Trump and Vice President Pence on behalf of conservative Republican Dan Bishop were key to his victory Tuesday night in the nationally watched special election in North Carolina's 9th District.
trump, pence, dan bishop, north carolina, dan mccready
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2019-04-11
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 06:04 AM
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