Bishop Beats McCready in North Carolina Special Election

Democrats spent millions propping up McCready

Dan Bishop / Wikimedia Commons / Jackson A. Lanier
September 11, 2019

Republican Dan Bishop beat Democrat Dan McCready in a close special election race held in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District on Tuesday.

Bishop beat McCready by about 2 percentage points, according to NBC. Both candidates spent massive amounts of money campaigning, after a mishandling of absentee ballots in the 2018 election determined the need for a special election in 2019. At the time, Republican nominee Mark Harris led McCready by a slim margin.

Many commentators advertised the outcome of the 2019 special election as a bellwether for the 2020 presidential election.

As of Sept. 6, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had spent $1.2 million propping up McCready with Bishop attack ads, and outside groups spent $3.9 million supporting McCready, according to the Charlotte Observer. An NBC estimate taken on election night stated Democrats had spent $6.5 million on TV and radio ads supporting McCready.

A portion of McCready's support came from dark money groups, despite McCready's denunciation of dark money in 2018. That same year, the dark money group Patriot Majority USA spent nearly $1 million on McCready.

McCready also received outside help from several liberal groups in Massachusetts, which sent canvassers down to North Carolina in two trips to campaign for him. These trips were organized through the online progressive platform Action Network and were aimed at convincing voters in the Charlotte suburbs to vote for McCready.

President Donald Trump also weighed in on the race, traveling to North Carolina with Vice President Mike Pence on Monday to rally support for Bishop. Trump carried the district by 12 points in the 2016 presidential election.

In announcing his win over McCready, Bishop thanked Trump for his support, saying that the win is a sign of "the successful results of President Trump's agenda." He also posted this statement on Twitter: "WE DID IT #NC09!!!! Thank you North Carolina!!!"

Featured image can be found here.