GOP Path to House Majority Could Run Through NC-09 Special Election

The Associated Press
Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer via AP/ Chuck Burton

The Republican path to a 2020 majority in the House of Representatives could run through the special election in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District next month in which Republican Dan Bishop faces Democrat Dan McCready.

The September 10 special election is considered a bellwether of how the 2020 election will turn out nationally and in the key battleground state of North Carolina.

The seat has been vacant since the 116th Congress convened in January, the consequence of a lengthy dispute that involved allegations of election irregularities on the part of the campaign of the 2018 Republican nominee, Dr. Mark Harris, who chose not to run in the 2019 special election.

With two vacancies, Democrats currently have a 235 to 197 advantage in the House of Representatives now that one former Republican–Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI)–left the GOP in June and is identifying as the sole independent in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both of the two vacancies–NC-03 and NC-09–will be filled in special elections on September 10. NC-03 is expected to go in the Republican column,

That would bring the Democrat margin in the House over Republicans to 235 to 198.

A Republican victory in NC-09 by Bishop would narrow that margin to 235 to 199, meaning the Republicans would need only a net gain in 2020 of 19 seats to obtain a 218 to 217 majority in the House.

In contrast, a Democrat victory in NC-09 by McCready would increase that margin to 236 to 198, meaning the Republicans would need a net gain in 2020 of 20 seats to obtain a 218 to 217 majority in the House.

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News earlier this month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), outlined the GOP’s plans to retake the majority in 2020.

“There are 31 seats that Democrats sit in today that President Trump carried,” McCarthy told Breitbart Washington political editor Matt Boyle in a one hour in-studio interview broadcast on Sirius XM 125, the Patriot Channel, during the August 3rd edition of Breitbart News Saturday.

“Of those 31, 13 of them President Trump carried by more than six points. So, here you have the socialist wing of the party trying to take them further left, when the only way they have the majority is actually winning in Republican areas—areas that would be swing districts,” McCarthy noted.

Breitbart News explained the math of McCarthy’s analysis under a scenario in which a net gain of 20 seats is needed by the GOP to win back the majority in 2020:

So, if Republicans take back those 13 seats from Democrats in districts that Trump won by more than six percent, and seven more from the remaining 18 districts that Democrats represent that Trump won—while holding what they currently have—or find some other way to net gain 20 seats, they can retake the majority in 2020.

The 13 districts currently represented by Democrats that Trump won by more than six percent are as follows: Minnesota’s 7th district, New York’s 22nd, Oklahoma’s 5th, South Carolina’s 1st, Maine’s 2nd, New Mexico’s 2nd, New York’s 11th, Pennsylvania’s 8th, New York’s 19th, Michigan’s 8th, Utah’s 4th, Virginia’s 7th, and New Jersey’s 3rd.

The other 18 districts currently represented by Democrats in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton include: New Jersey’s 2nd, Wisconsin’s 3rd, Michigan’s 11th, Iowa’s 2nd, Illinois’ 14th, Iowa’s 1st, Iowa’s 3rd, Virginia’s 2nd, Pennsylvania’s 17th, New York’s 18th, New Hampshire’s 1st, Georgia’s 6th, Minnesota’s 2nd, Arizona’s 1st, New Jersey’s 5th, Nevada’s 3rd, New Jersey’s 11th, and Illinois’ 17th.

One of those net gains may already be in the works in Michigan’s Third Congressional District, where Rep. Justin Amash has been elected since 2010 as a Republican. If he runs for the seat again in 2020, it will be as an independent. Although Democrats have expressed hope that an Amash 2020 candidacy could split the vote between Republicans so that a Democrat could slide into victory with a plurality, such an outcome is highly speculative at best.

Given the high stakes of the NC-09 special election and the razor-thin difference between Bishop and McCready in recent polls, both parties have spent heavily on the race, and are expected to continue to do so over the next several weeks.

Charges and counter-charges flew back and forth between the campaigns of Republican Bishop and Democrat McCready over the past week, as early voting for the election that is now less than a month away is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

A Super PAC that supports Democrat McCready attacked Bishop recently for his 2017 investment of $500 in a social media platform known as Gab.

Bishop’s team has punched back on a number of fronts, calling McCready out for hypocrisy on the issue of public education. McCready has criticized Bishop for his policies related to public education. Bishop blasted back, noting that McCready, who claims to support public education, sends his own children to an expensive private school.

As the Free Beacon reported:

Democratic congressional candidate Dan McCready (N.C.) on Sunday accused his Republican opponent Dan Bishop of not believing in public schools, despite sending his children to a private school that costs $18,000 a year.

McCready, who will be facing state Sen. Bishop in a September 10th special election for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, participated in the Fayetteville NAACP candidate forum, where he claimed Bishop’s policies hurt public school teachers. . .

“As a product of North Carolina public schools, Dan McCready believes in public education and ending the attacks on our public schools by people like State Senator Dan Bishop and [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos,” said McCready’s spokesman Matthew Fried. “He and his wife chose to send their kids to a small Christian school to receive a faith-based education, and they find it shameful that politician Dan Bishop is attacking their kids.”

Bishop has relentlessly criticized McCready for his ties to the “clown car” of Democrat Party leaders, and a Republican SuperPAC also criticized McCready, claiming that his solar energy venture capital firm has funded projects that used products supplied by the controversial Chinese firm Huawei.

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