Democrat McCready Holds Narrow Lead in North Carolina Special Election, New Poll Shows

September 3, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Democrat Dan McCready holds a narrow lead over Republican Dan Bishop in the special election contest to represent North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, a new poll says.

With precious little time left before the Sept. 10 election, a survey conducted by Harper Polling and Clarity Campaign Labs for the nonpartisan Inside Elections, has McCready ahead of Bishop, 46% to 42%.

Two third-party candidates garnered the support of a combined 3% of likely special election voters, while 8% said they are still undecided.

The margin of error of the survey is plus or minus 4.19%.

When voters who were leaning toward one candidate were included, McCready’s advantage increased to 49% to Bishop’s 44%.

In November 2018, McCready finished less than a point behind Republican Mark Harris, but a winner was never certified or seated in Congress because of allegations of fraud by a GOP consultant affiliated with the Harris campaign.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in North Carolina the day before the election, but whether that visit will do more harm than good is very much in question.

Trump’s job approval rating in the district has plummeted since last fall. The new poll found 47% approved of the job he’s doing compared to 48% who disapproved.

Trump carried the district by 11 points in 2016.

If McCready does pull off a win, it would increase the number of seats Republicans need to gain to win back the House next year to 20.

Throughout the race, McCready portrayed himself as a moderate, rejecting calls for, among other things, Medicare for All.

Instead he’s focused on kitchen table issues like education and the high cost of prescription drugs.

“That’s a message that appeals to middle-of-the-road voters,” Morgan Jackson, a McCready strategist, told the Charlotte Observer newspaper last week.

“If you’re going to be successful you’ve got to turn out your base and you’ve got to appeal to the middle,” Jackson said.

According to the Federal Election Commission, McCready has significantly outpaced Bishop in fundraising, pulling in $5.6 million as of last week, to the Republican’s $2 million.

McCready has also outspent his opponent, 3-1, according to published reports.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent about $6 million on Bishop’s behalf, and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super-PAC tied to Republican House leadership, is reportedly spending $1 million on local television spots in the last week of the contest.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EDF Action, an environmental PAC, have spent $2.7 million on behalf of McCready. That total includes a $600,000 ad campaign the DCCC launched on Friday, the Charlotte Observer reported.

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