GOP special election win papers over fragile 2020 position
Republicans went all-in to keep hold of a key congressional district in a special election Tuesday, and they won — but they still have good reason to be concerned about the result.
While the GOP can celebrate the election of a new congressman, Dan Bishop, his 2-point victory in a district President Donald Trump carried by 12 points in 2016 continues a worrisome trend for the party, which suffered heavy losses in the 2018 midterms and has not seen the political environment improve as Trump gears up for reelection.
Trump cannot win a second term without improving his political position, and Democrats know it, casting Bishop’s narrow win as a sign of progress in North Carolina. But Democrats also saw worrying trends of their own on Tuesday, as their candidate Dan McCready benefitted from a surge in metropolitan support that would have brought them victory — if not for an even stronger swell in rural support for Bishop and the GOP.