In North Carolina’s heavily Republican 9th congressional district (Cook PVI R+8), Dan Bishop (R- Bathroom Bill), narrowly beat Democrat Dan McCready, 50.7% to 48.7%, in a race the GOP should have run away with, even without all the election tampering that threw the race into a special election.
Off-cycle elections are squirrley, yadda yadda yadda. And thus the 2018 Pie Fight FINALLY concluded and what do we discern from this:
- NC-09 is trending away from the Republicans.
- NC-09 is 65.17% urban and 34.83% rural, which means that they are losing the suburbs.
- The GOP brought out all of the big guns to try to save it (Prznint Stupid, Mike Pence, Kevin McCarthy), and won it ONLY by 2.
- “The National Republican Congressional Committee and Congressional Leadership Fund, the leading pro-GOP super PAC for House races, have combined to spend more than $5 million.” — Politico
- A R+8 district had an R+2 win and that means that any district that is not at least double-digit Republican is in play next year.
I counted at least 83 districts below PVI +10, which [checks notes] is a lot. $415M Ameros to defend marginal seats if the spending level remains the same. It is not sustainable, and they cannot get the celebrity apprentice out to all of them.
OK, so at the end of the night, the Republicans won the special elections, spent a lot of money to do it, and those seats will both be up again next year in 2020, so it was a lot of money to not even win control away from Nancy Pelosi.
While it was NOT a victory for us, it was not a victory for them. Expect to see some number of those 83 Republican districts’ representatives to retire.
UPDATE: Politico’s morning email thingie:
GOOD MORNING FROM CHARLOTTE. Millions of Republican dollars and a DONALD TRUMP and MIKE PENCE visit later, the Republicans found a way to hold onto a deep red House seat here in North Carolina, where DAN BISHOP, a Republican state senator, beat DAN MCCREADY, a Democrat who has never held elective office, by 2.08 percentage points, or fewer than 4,000 votes.
THIS DISTRICT WAS ONCE familiar and comfortable territory for the GOP, and an afterthought electorally. Republicans dominated almost everywhere, from Mercedes-lined, leafy Charlotte streets to rural farm counties. In other words, this is the kind of district that was built for a previous iteration of the GOP.
BUT IN THE TRUMP ERA, it has morphed into a battleground. The wealthy suburbs of Charlotte — Mecklenburg County — turned sharply away from TRUMP and the GOP and toward Democrats. And the exurbs and rural parts of the district have become redder, mirroring the reshaping of the Republican electorate, writ large.
THAT MADE THIS SEAT — North Carolina’s 9th District — a hell of a race. Republicans and Democrats spent lavishly, trying to match each other dollar for dollar in a race that attracted nearly $20 million in spending. And in the end, the 12-point margin that MCCREADY — an Iraq war vet with Duke and Harvard degrees — built up in Mecklenburg County was not enough to keep BISHOP from wrapping himself in everything TRUMP and keeping the seat in GOP hands. But just barely.
THERE IS A LOT TO SAY ABOUT REPUBLICANS having to fight out a district that was literally drawn for them to win, but a win is a win. Perhaps most notably, the NRCC and CLF — which were at war with each other last cycle — were able to spend money in a complementary fashion and erase McCready’s early lead.