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Republicans shouldn't get too excited about North Carolina

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 6 days ago Tiana Lowe
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President Trump took a victory lap on Twitter last night, crediting himself with Dan Bishop's win in North Carolina's 9th congressional district, and bragging that Bishop would have lost without him.

But Bishop merely retained a congressional seat drawn by Republicans for Republicans. This close shave should serve as a serious warning to conservatives that 2020, up and down the ticket, will be a blood bath if things keep going like this. Southern suburbs are showing an increasing impatience with Trump's Republican Party, such that the GOP cannot bank on winning in states like North Carolina and Georgia.

Naturally, the Trump fan club praised the president, using Bishop's win as evidence that Republicans can take back the suburbs and the House next year. But the breakdown of votes paints a more dire picture. Bishop performed even better than usual in rural areas of the district. But his Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, even in losing by a greater margin than in last year's controversial race, pulled more votes from the suburbs than he did during 2018's blue wave.

This follows the trend that already cost Republicans the House and could spell doom in 2020. A party that wins rural areas without suburbs or cities is a party that's going to start losing everywhere.

Republicans aren't just performing poorly relative to the pre-Trump days of the Republican Party. They're performing terribly relative to Trump's election in 2016. Both the president and Mitt Romney carried the same district by 12 points. Three years after Trump's victory, Bishop, who based his entire campaign on Trump, won last night just by two points.

It's good news for Republicans that they kept this seat. It's terrifying for their political future how they won it.

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