‘Although Democrats already rocketed into the House majority last November, this do-over election means much more for the Republicans, who are desperate to avoid an embarrassing setback…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Less than a year ago, left-wing media feigned shock as Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate in North Carolina‘s 9th Congressional District, came within a thousand votes of winning the historically red district.
It was one of many ‘bellwether’ races during the 2018 midterms that were supposed to be a mandate on the halfway point of President Donald Trump’s first term.
Now—after the state election commission invalidated the race that saw Republican Mark Harris defeat McCready amid questions of absentee ballot fraud—the press is at it again with McCready’s new opponent, state Sen. Dan Bishop.
“[A]lthough Democrats already rocketed into the House majority last November, this do-over election means much more for the Republicans, who are desperate to avoid an embarrassing setback in a critical 2020 state,” declared a breathless NBC News article on Saturday.
While it is reasonable to assert that last year’s turnover of 40 House seats in Congress—as well as several governorships—to Democrats was a statement on Trump’s presidency, the spin on the Left conveniently left out several major factors that added important context.
Among these was the fact that Trump’s loss of seats was paltry compared to the losses faced by presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in their first midterms.
When the numbers are fully crunched, there is a natural disadvantage for the sitting president’s party in midterms that is as clear as the coattail election-year advantage.
While Trump’s loss fell on the upper end of the historical averages in the modern era, several other behind-the-scenes moves by Democrats helped it along.
North Carolina was one of these states, and its 9th District—which had drawn a narrow swath half-circumscribing the city of Charlotte in suburban areas densely populated by white, affluent voters—suddenly became far more rural.
Democrats had pressed for the redistricting after claiming that the Republican-led legislature had factored race into the map in order to minimize opponents’ political power. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision, and the new district maps were approved in 2017.
The dual effect of this was both diluting the suburban GOP voter base and making the existing base more conservative than previously.
But the result was also a much more narrowly split district that could play into the hands of fake blue-dog Democrat McCready, who won the suburbs by a margin of nearly 5,000 votes.
That, in turn, gave new legs to the false media narrative about Trump’s political headwinds entering into his own re-election.
Harris, a Baptist minister who also happened to be pro-Trump, shook the NC Republican establishment when he unseated incumbent Robert Pittenger prior to the 2018 election.
The centrist Pittenger had taken a firm stance against the Trump wave, but that was not the death-blow in his congressional career so much as the prior year’s redistricting, which stretched his district deep into the backwoods of rural Carolina.
On paper, the 9th District may have gained conservatives, but the split between the middle-of-the-road suburban voters and the more conservative voters east of Charlotte became apparent in the 2018 race between Harris and McCready, which was punctuated by an influx of funding from outside donors that flooded McCready’s campaign coffers.
Despite his opponent’s fundraising advantage, Harris narrowly won—until a partisan member of the state elections board claimed fraud in the newly added rural districts, where he, himself, had deep ties to a corrupt ballot-harvesting ring that had previously benefited both Democrat and Republican candidates.
This led to a dramatic hearing, during which Harris—whose son was forced to testify against him—withdrew from the race, citing the impact on his health.
Bishop, a conservative veteran of the state General Assembly, emerged as the candidate best equipped to take on McCready and his massive war-chest of outside donations.
Like Harris, Bishop has conservative bona fides that play well in the rural counties. He also has a solid base of support in southern Mecklenberg, the county that houses Charlotte, which sent him as its representative to Raleigh.
However, his ideological differences with Pittenger’s brand of Republican politics (the previous GOP congressman backed another challenger and made claims about Bishop that resulted in the threat of a lawsuit) may yet create problems in the fast-growing outskirts of Charlotte.
Even just a whiff of vulnerability is enough to launch a media feeding frenzy of articles doting on how the dynamic and dauntless McCready campaign has persevered in the district, which has voted Republican since the early 1960s.
NBC astoundingly managed to turn the fact that Bishop had overcome a substantial deficit and brought the race to an even split into yet another reason to cast McCready as the heroic underdog in the “Battle of the Dans.”
“McCready began the race far better known than Bishop, indicating Bishop probably has more room for his support to grow—especially considering the 9th District voted for Trump by double digits,” it said.
Should Bishop win the race, it would mark, for all intents and purposes, the addition of a brand-new reliably conservative district—potentially as valuable to Trump as the 11th District where Trump’s close confidant Mark Meadows, the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, holds court in the western part of the state.
But, unsurprisingly, it would not be newsworthy to find that the district had grown more conservative, despite all odds, since that wouldn’t fit the mainstream media narrative.
“Fresh off losing their majority and beset by a new wave of retirements, Republicans badly need a morale boost,” NBC News wrote.
“… But it’s not just about the House: 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,” it said.