Republican Dan Bishop’s close win in the special election Tuesday for North Carolina’s 9th congressional district sets the stage for the 2020 Republican National Convention, which will be held in the nearby city of Charlotte in late August.
The 9th congressional district includes part of the Charlotte metropolitan area. While it is difficult to extrapolate lessons from a special election to a general election — much less a presidential one — a win Tuesday by Democrat Dan McCready would have been interpreted widely as a warning for President Donald Trump. The president bet heavily on the special election, holding a large rally there on Monday evening with Vice President Mike Pence.
Bishop’s win — which exceeded the margin by which McCready lost the district in the 2018 midterm elections — suggests that Trump still enjoys strong support among his base, and also that there could be a backlash against Democrat control of the U.S. House of Representatives, given the left-wing drift of the party.
Charlotte has also provided a boost to presidential campaigns in the recent past. When President Barack Obama ran for re-election in 2012, the Democratic Party held its convention in the city. While Obama lost North Carolina and Indiana, after winning both in 2008, he held onto enough electoral votes elsewhere to win.
North Carolina is an important battlefield for other reasons: it has been targeted by Obama and his former attorney general, Eric Holder, in their effort to wrest control of congressional re-districting from elected politicians and draw districts more amenable to Democrats.
As in California, these efforts claim to be non-partisan but in effect set the system up to be gamed by well-organized Democrats.
Bishop’s win will allow Trump to tell a story of resurgence against the “resistance” in North Carolina and elsewhere.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.