Democrats Forced to Admit Trump Helped Republicans Soar to Victory in NC Elections
GOP candidates swept North Carolina special elections after endorsement from the president
Democrats have been forced to admit that President Donald Trump's endorsements helped Republican candidates soar to victory in the North Carolina special elections on Tuesday.
The victories were a major win for both Trump and national Republicans, with the elections widely seen as a bellwether for the president's chances in the 2020 election.
North Carolina GOP State Sen. Dan Bishop was predicted to win the fiercely contested special U.S. House election for the 9th District.
And earlier Tuesday evening, Greg Murphy, another Republican House candidate, sailed to victory in a separate special election in North Carolina's more consistently GOP-leaning 3rd District.
The wins led to frustration for Democrats who had spent millions campaigning to try and make a splash in the state.
The president's contribution to Bishop's win was even noted by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Cheri Bustos, who wrote in a statement that Trump's rally helped seal the win.
"We fell an inch short tonight, but it took more than $6 million in outside Republican spending and a last-minute Trump rally" to seal Democratic candidate Dan McCready's fate in the 9th District, Bustos admitted.
According to Fox News, McCready's campaign spent approximately $4.7 million on the race, while Bishop's spent only $1.9 million.
Outside spending primarily from national party committees helped Bishop to the tune of $5.8 million, though, compared to McCready's roughly $1.4 million.
The clean sweep heartened the president, who has long emphasized the national implications at stake.
Trump unloaded on McCready in the fiery rally on Monday night, telling attendees that "to stop the far-left, you must vote in tomorrow's special election."
That effort, Trump said late Tuesday, had clearly paid dividends.
BIG NIGHT FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
"Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big Rally last night. Now it looks like he is going to win. @CNN &@MSNBC are moving their big studio equipment and talent out. Stay tuned!"
He added: "BIG NIGHT FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!"
“The voters said no to radical, liberal polices pushed by today’s Democratic Party,” Bishop said in a victory speech.
GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the wins spelled trouble for Democrats in 2020, and highlighted the importance of Republican National Committee (RNC) efforts in North Carolina — where the party will hold its national nominating convention in 2020.
"Despite being massively outspent by Democrats, @realDonaldTrump rallied voters and put Bishop over the top," McDaniel said.
"A huge win for the president and our grassroots field program that's working hard to elect Republicans in 2020!"
Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big Rally last night. Now it looks like he is going to win. @CNN & @MSNBC are moving their big studio equipment and talent out. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
Bishop led McCready by 3,937 votes, 96,081 to 92,144, in the race to represent the 9th District.
Bishop ran up substantial numbers in outlying areas and McCready eroded GOP advantages in suburban areas.
In 2018, the Republican candidate, Mark Harris, defeated McCready by a much smaller margin — just 905 votes, 139,246 to 138,341.
State officials ordered the unusual special election earlier this year, invalidating Harris' win after uncovering ballot fraud efforts.
Republicans cheered Bishop's even-higher margin of victory than Harris achieved, briefly, in 2018.
“Congratulations to Dan Bishop on his definitive victory tonight in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District," National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer said in a statement.
Greg Murphy won big, 62% to 37%, in North Carolina 03, & the Fake News barely covered the race. The win was far bigger than anticipated - there was just nothing the Fakers could say to diminish or demean the scope of this victory. So we had TWO BIG VICTORIES tonight, Greg & Dan!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
"North Carolinians rejected the Democrats’ socialist agenda and elected a representative who will defend North Carolina values, and will always fight for freedom and against socialism," he added.
"I look forward to working with Dan in Congress to hold the Democrats accountable for their extreme agenda.”
The president said Monday he did not consider Bishop's race to be a bellwether for 2020.
Nevertheless, Bishop and Murphy were evidently boosted by a pair of visits to the district Monday by both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
At the rally Monday, the president specifically called out McCready as a dangerous proponent of "sanctuary cities" and rolling back gun rights.
"Just recently, Mecklenburg County set free an illegal alien charged with first-degree rape and crimes against a child," Trump said, his voice rising.
"Support for sanctuary cities is disloyalty to American cities — and McCready wants sanctuary cities, with all of their protections for people who are serious criminals.
"Tomorrow is your chance to send a clear message to the America-hating left."
Had McCready prevailed, it might have suggested GOP erosion and raised questions about Trump's and his party's viability for 2020.
But Trump projected confidence early Tuesday evening after Murphy was projected to soundly defeat Democrat Allen Thomas in the separate special election in the coastal 3rd District to succeed the late Rep. Walter Jones Jr.
One down, one to go – Greg Murphy is projected to win in the Great State of North Carolina! #NC03— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
"One down, one to go," Trump wrote on Twitter.