The Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for the ninth district of North Carolina, Dan Bishop, won Tuesday in the elections that had to be repeated after a fraud scandal splashed the original 2018 mid-terms.
With 100 percent of the polls counted, Bishop got 50.7 percent of the votes (96,081), while his Democratic rival, Dan McCready, fell two percentage points behind with 48.7 percent (92,144).
While McCready was repeating as a candidate, Bishop replaced Mark Harris, who won last November’s election but announced he would not repeat when the scandal erupted.
However, election officials refused to certify the results after allegations were made that part of the Republican campaign manipulated ballot papers.
In that election, Harris beat McCready by less than a thousand votes, a much smaller distance than Tuesday.
These elections were seen as a clear indicator of the mood of the U.S. electorate halfway through the Democratic victory in last year’s midterm and 2020 presidential elections.
North Carolina’s ninth is a heavily urban suburban district, with a moderate Republican electorate that experts say is likely to vote for Democrats next year.
In the 2016 presidential elections, Trump earned 12 percentage points more than Democrat Hillary Clinton in this district, but that distance has faded in these two congressional elections.
Trump, in fact, was in North Carolina this Monday with a big rally in support of Bishop.
“Dan Bishop was 17 points down three weeks ago. Then he asked me for help, we changed the strategy together, and he made a great choice,” said Trump, who called the day a “big night for the Republican Party”.
On Tuesday, special elections were also held for North Carolina’s third district, since Republican Walter B. Jones Jr. left a vacancy when he died in February.
In this district of conservative tradition, the Republican candidate Greg Murphy also won with 61.7% of the votes (70,142), while Democrat Allen Thomas added 37.5% (42,570).
With these two conservative victories, the Lower House is left with a Democratic majority of 235 seats for 199 Republicans.