DemDaily: Carolina Consolation

September 11, 2019

North Carolina delivered a victory for both Republicans and Democrats last night.

While Democrat Dan McCready lost to Republican Dan Bishop, 50.7% to 48.7% in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, the close contest provided a welcome consolation prize.

NC-9: Suburbs went Blue, Rural Red (Image: NYT)

Republicans underperformed by 10% in the historically red district which both Donald Trump, in 2016, and Mitt Romney, in 2012, won by 12 points.

In what is becoming a pattern, voters in the rural areas went for the Republican, Bishop, while the increasingly blue suburbs and urban areas, voted for the Democrat, McCready.

This reflects similar demographic gains made by Democrats in other recent red state elections, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Texas.

Some analysts say the results underscore the need for Democrats to focus more aggressively on the rural vote and, for 2020, a candidate that will appeal to moderate and swing voters in those areas.

Despite the outcome, the end numbers provided Democrats with the desired bellweather they were seeking to show the diminishing popularity of President Donald Trump.

CNN/SRSS September 5-9, 2019 poll (Margin of Error +/- 3.2) shows Trump's job approval rating at just 39%, with a disapproval rating of 55%.

The Cook Political Report has identified at least 30 GOP House seats that are less friendly to Republicans than North Carolina's 9th CD.

In NC-3 Special Election, Allen Thomas (D) lost to Greg Murphy (R) in heavily Republican CD (WITN)

One of them, however, is not North Carolina's 3rd CD, where a special election also took place yesterday, to replace the late Walter Jones (R).

In that contest, Republican State Representative Greg Murphy defeated Democrat and former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas 61.7% to 37.5%, reflecting the district's R+24 partisan lean.

At this point, that leaves one pending special election in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District, to replace Republican Sean Duffy, who will be stepping down as of September 23, 2019.

More retirements, however, are expected.

US House Count235 Democrats, 199 Republicans, 1 Independent

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Kimberly Scott

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Resources: FiveThirtyEight, NewYorkTimes, Cook, MSNBC

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