GOP's Bishop holds narrow lead in closely watched North Carolina special House election

Fox News | 9/10/2019 | Gregg Re
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Republican North Carolina state Sen. Dan Bishop held a narrow lead in a pivotal special U.S. House election that will not only decide the winner of a long-vacant House seat but could signal how President Trump will perform in the 2020 presidential election.

Percent - Precincts - Tuesday - Bishop - Democrat

With 92 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Bishop led Democrat Dan McCready by just over 3,800 votes in the race to represent the GOP-leaning 9th Congressional District.

Bishop was hoping a pair of visits to the district Monday by both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would boost him to victory.

Bishop - McCready - Trump - Bishop - Prevails

Should Bishop defeat McCready, it would enable Trump to assert that he pushed Bishop over the top. If McCready prevails or Bishop wins by a whisker despite Trump's broad support in the Republican Party, it might suggest GOP erosion and raise questions about Trump's and his party's viability for 2020.

Trump projected confidence Tuesday evening after Republican Greg Murphy was projected to soundly defeat Democrat Allen Thomas in a separate special election in the coastal 3rd District to succeed the late Rep. Walter Jones Jr.

Trump - Twitter

"One down, one to go," Trump wrote on Twitter.

State officials ordered the unusual 9th Congressional District special election earlier this year, invalidating a win by GOP candidate Mark Harris over McCready in the 2018 midterms after uncovering ballot fraud efforts.

Analysts - Fraud - Scandal - Bishop - Prospects

Some analysts have said the fraud scandal could harm Bishop's prospects, even though he wasn't involved in the alleged ballot fraud in last year's race. That could undermine any attempts to draw larger lessons from Tuesday's contest.

On the eve of the election, Trump and Pence threw their full-throated support behind Bishop -- and emphasized the national implications of the contest.

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