President Trump will hold a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Monday night with Republican Congressional candidate Dan Bishop on the eve of the September 10 special election in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District between Bishop and Democrat Dan McCready.
The bellwether race is considered too close to call according to the most recent polls, and the rally tonight in the more conservative eastern part of the Ninth Congressional District is expected to increase turnout among Republican voters.
Millions of dollars have been poured into this race by groups on both sides of the political aisle, and the outcome remains in doubt with less than 48 hours until the polls close.
The president is not the only member of the administration coming to support Bishop’s candidacy.
“Vice President Mike Pence plans to hold an event earlier in the day at Wingate University in Union County. Donald Trump Jr. headlined a fundraiser last week in Monroe,” the Charlotte Observer reported.
In their coverage of the election, the mainstream media is doing their best to portray this special election in a Congressional district Trump won by 12 points in 2016 as a referendum on his presidency, as the Observer noted:
“For Trump it’s important in terms of North Carolina and nationally that he shows that he has the clout to produce a good turnout,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “He needs to produce.”
Even without Trump’s involvement, the election has drawn national attention.
North Carolina not only will be a battleground state in the 2020 presidential race but Republicans will hold their national convention in Charlotte next summer. The party and its allies have poured millions into the race that many see as a harbinger of next year’s elections.
“Trump’s re-election depends on North Carolina, and a Democratic upset would be a genuine sign of danger for the president heading into 2020,” analyst David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report wrote recently.
Sabato, notably, inaccurately predicted the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Less than 24 hours before election day that year, Sabato predicted Hillary Clinton would easily win the electoral college vote and become the next president.
But that was then, and this is now, and the two years and ten months since election day in November 2016 have seen innumerable twists and turns at the national political level.
Among those twists was what happened in the 2018 midterm election in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District, where Republican Mark Harris claimed a 905 vote victory over Democrat McCready on election day.
That victory evaporated a few weeks later when the North Carolina Board of Elections (NCBE) refused to certify the election results in the midst of allegations of ballot irregularities.
In January, the NCBE declared a special election to fill the seat would be held on September 10. When Harris chose not to run for the Republican nomination, Bishop jumped in and easily won the GOP primary. McCready won the Democrat nomination without a primary challenge, setting up the general election battle between Bishop and McCready.