CHARLOTTE, NC – President Trump's top advisers charged Wednesday with the tight victory of a Republican in a special election in the House of Representatives of North Carolina. Trump has simply emphasized how the growing urban-rural divide complicates 2020 for both parties.
Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump's campaign manager, told reporters in a conference call that the President's rally on Monday night in Fayetteville, NC, was critical to Mr. Bishop's success in stimulating voters on election day after the election Democrats had mobilized many of their supporters to eject early ballots.
And Democrats who believed their candidate Dan McCready, a Marine veteran, could win in 2016 in a district that was rated 12 points by Mr. Trump. Bill Stepien, one of Mr. Trump's leading politicians, sarcastically congratulated the Democrats for a "moral victory" before saying that his party would like to accept "actual victory."
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But what was actually the last contest of the 2018 election? State officials ordered a rerun of the race after Republicans discovered they had funded an illegal voting program. A rural county – showed most revealingly that the demographic differences that characterized the mid-term only increase.
Mr. Bishop, who was not elected in 2018, won in large part because he improved the performance of the Republicans in the sparsely populated areas of the sprawling district of Fayetteville-to-Charlotte. And Mr. McCready, who ran as a candidate for the Democratic Party in 2018 and rallied in the special elections, scored even better on Tuesday in the upscale suburbs of Charlotte than last November, though he had lost many times over.
The national pattern seems to have come to pass, "said Michael Bitzer, a professor of political science at Catawba College, Salisbury, NC, adding the county to which Charlotte is a member:" I think the Republican collapse in Mecklenburg is on continue.
These seemingly unstoppable trends – the red is blushing as the blues turn blue – underscore how difficult it will be for Republicans to regain the kind of big-city seats they need to own the majority of the House of Representatives next year recover. However, the same pattern also shows why it will be difficult for Democrats to retake the Senate in 2020 if they can not improve their performance among rural voters. Support from his white working-class constituency – but that dedication may not be enough to win a second term of office if he can not improve his position vis-a-vis suburbanites, especially women.
Even as he and his high command crow over their success on Wednesday, a new poll by ABC News / Washington Post reported. The poll showed that Mr. Trump has poor approval ratings and that he would lose in the current election against a handful of his potential Democratic rivals. Most striking was the test heat between the President and Joseph R. Biden Jr.: Mr. Biden quoted Mr. Trump with 55 to 40 percent among the registered voters.
But it is still unclear who the Democrats will eventually nominate, and whether they will gather behind a candidate who addresses an appeal to moderate voters, or behind someone who can motivate the progressives in a way like Hillary Clinton did not make it in 2016.
Many leading party officials are worried What many Republicans rely on: Democrats propose a candidate whom Mr. Trump can portray as being outside the mainstream of politics.
In this case, in some states, there may be a repeat of what happened on Tuesday in and around Lumberton, NC, on the eastern edge of the district.
Mr. McCready won the surrounding county Robeson 2018 with more than 15 percentage points against Mark Harris, his former Republican opponent. On Tuesday, Mr. McCready won the county with only 1.1 percent.
Phillip M. Stephens, chairman of the Robeson County Republican Party, said the county was mostly democratic, but also very conservative. "Robeson County is a county with some of the last Blue Dog Democrats on earth," he said.
Mr. Stephens said he believes Mr. Bishop has outscored Mr. Harris in the county because he has written inexorable and purposeful messages reminding voters that Mr. McCready supported the right to abortion and with a party who worked too far to the left.
"That does not work well with these outlaws and these conservative Democrats," Stephens said. "It's going very well in the Democratic Party, but not very well in Robeson County."
Richard Fausset reported from Charlotte and Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman from Washington.