Republican state senator Dan Bishop, who sponsored the anti-LGBTQ law HB 2, narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready in a special election last night in North Carolina’s Ninth District, a sprawling gerrymander that stretches from the Charlotte suburbs to Robeson County. 

Bishop, a funder of the white-supremacist-favorite social media site Gab, prevailed by about 2.1 percentage points, or roughly 4,000 votes out of nearly 190,000 cast, according to the state Board of Elections

The closely watched election was a do-over, after the Board of Elections refused to certify the results of November’s congressional election following widespread election fraud benefitting the Republican candidate, Mark Harris. The BOE’s final tally in that race had Harris leading McCready by just 905 votes.

So Bishop marginally improved on Harris’s performance—with the caveat that this was an odd-year election with significantly lower turnout—after spending millions of dollars and bringing in both the president and vice president to rally on his behalf. 

Guess who rushed in to take the credit. 

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


No poll had Bishop down seventeen points—at least, no public poll. Since May, every public survey has had the Dans more effectively tied. The most recent had McCready up three. The one before that, tied. Before that, Bishop up one. And so on. 

It’s possible, perhaps, that the RNC’s internals had Bishop down seventeen—and somehow, no panic set in and these numbers never leaked—and Trump came riding to the rescue and saved the day. It’s more likely, however, that the public polling was right, and Trump is living in his own fantasyland. 

Which isn’t to say his rally didn’t make a difference. It probably did. In close, off-year, low-turnout elections driven by base turnout, Trump flying to Fayetteville and shouting his way through the MAGA Greatest Hits might have been worth a few thousand votes. It wasn’t worth seventeen percentage points worth of votes, but hey, Bishop won.

Except a win isn’t always a win—particularly when it won’t change the balance of power, and when it should send warning flares, but those signals will be ignored because the president has evidently convinced himself that he saved the day, so there’s no need to change course. 

It’s worth remembering that, in 2016, Donald Trump won this district, which has been in Republican hands since 1963, by twelve points, eight points better than he did in North Carolina as a whole. And while the GOP is spinning as best it can—“President Donald Trump’s strong leadership, record-breaking economy and his vision for the country is clearly resonating with North Carolina voters,” said the statement last night—if the state acts in 2020 like the Ninth did last night, the Democratic nominee will win going away.

If Trump loses North Carolina, it’s game over. (Of course, recent polls from Gallup, CNN, and The Washington Post all have his approval ratings below 40. If he stays in that range, he has no chance of being re-elected.)

Also worth remembering, if you’re eyeing next November, is that there are thirty-four congressional districts currently held by Republicans that are less red than the Ninth. Lots of these districts are in the suburbs, which is part of the reason some Texas Republicans are retiring. 

Guess where McCready overperformed his 2018 numbers? Suburban Mecklenburg County.

Last year, he won it by ten points; last night, thirteen. 

The GOP bloodbath in 2018 was driven largely by wealthy suburban voters, who had backed Trump in 2016 but grown tired of his antics even in a growing economy. If last night’s results in Charlotte are indicative, that’s still the case—and that augers poorly for Republican hopes of retaining power in 2020. 

One warning sign for Dems, too: While McCready did well in the Charlotte suburbs, he underperformed everywhere else in the district, and got destroyed in Robeson County. White rural areas have been Trump’s strongholds, but Robeson, which has a large Lumbee population and four times as many registered Democrats as Republicans, voted for McCready by almost fifteen points last year; this year, he lost it by more than four points.  

Perhaps that owes to the race’s special circumstances—the redo, the September general election—but for whatever reason, North Carolina Democrats seem to be leaving gettable rural votes on the table. 

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

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One reply on “Donald Trump, Lying Narcissist, Praises Self for Saving Dan Bishop’s Ass”

  1. RE: “…and Trump is living in his own fantasyland. ”
    Of course he is.
    The problem is, he is not living there alone.
    I live in Virginia…In a small (tiny, in fact) unincorporated township.
    This past weekend, we had our annual ‘Fall Festival’ (90-degree temps be damned!).
    As I approached the so-called ‘family-friendly come-for-the-fellowship-community event’, I was struck by all the political booths and signs …EVERYWHERE.
    All Republican, I noted.
    I shrugged, walked on…went inside, planning to buy some home-made pies, stew, and to enter the prize drawing. I purchased tickets for the drawing and sat down at one of the long tables set up for dining and socializing.
    Within 5 minutes, a gleeful woman came up, and asked if myself and “everybody” was “on the same page with who we`re gonna vote for”….(?) “Local delegate this year…Trump next year!”…
    I looked at her and said “Excuse me…WHAT?”
    “Are we all set to vote?” came the reply “Trump next year!”
    Normally, I try to avoid political discussions in public.
    But…She DID ask.
    “Ma`m” I said, “Donald Trump is an ignorant, arrogant shamelessly-self-loving Jackass, so NO, I will definitely NOT be voting for Trump next year”
    Her face froze. Around the table, a hush fell.
    ‘Well…uh…That`s okay.” she stammered, and walked off.
    A man across from me got up, and started walking off, paused to say “Well, he IS your President”
    I corrected him on that “No, He is YOUR President.”
    Walking off further, he snickered “No–You may not like it, but Trump IS your President”
    “I`ll see what I can do about that.” were my final words to a suddenly empty table.

    I left soon after, as a Political Rally was not what I had expected, or come there for.

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