Donald Trump carried North Carolina’s 9th congressional district by 12 points in 2016, but Democrats are currently leading in the early vote count ahead of Tuesday’s special election between Democratic candidate Dan McCready and Republican Dan Bishop.
According to ncvotetracker.com, a project of the Civitas Institute, 39 percent of early vote ballots in the district have been cast by Democrats, while 33 percent have come from Republicans. The remaining 28 percent are from voters unaffiliated with either of the two major parties.
#NC09 Early Voting and mail ballots (81,548 have been casted):
— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) September 9, 2019
The finding comes after public polling shows an extremely close race in the district with the two candidates essentially deadlocked ahead of Tuesday’s contest.
One poll conducted by a right-leaning organization gave Republican Dan Bishop a one-point lead in NC-09.
#BREAKING: RRHelections exclusive #NC09 poll has Republican state Sen Dan Bishop holding a very narrow 46%-45% lead over Democrat Dan McCready (D). Full details on the poll including President Trump’s approval ratings in #NC03 can be found here:https://t.co/DiI8rYxEso
— RRH Elections (@RRHElections) September 3, 2019
Trump, Republicans terrified of losing in NC-09
As PoliticusUSA’s Jason Easley noted on Monday, Republicans have held the seat in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district since 1963. Losing it would be a humiliating defeat.
It would also be another ominous sign for the president and the GOP heading into the 2020 election year. It’s one reason why Trump was sent into the district for a rally on Monday: His advisers fear that being defeated in the 9th congressional district will be a severe blow to the president’s reelection campaign when he is already underwater against the leading Democratic contenders.
After all, if Trump can’t bring home a solid win in a region of North Carolina that he carried by double digits in 2016, what does that say about other parts of the country that will be even more closely contested in next year’s campaign?
Win or lose for the Democrats, the fact that such a GOP-heavy district is a tossup race should give them optimism heading into 2020.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.