In a last minute show of support, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will both go to the Tar Heel State on Monday, trying to rally Republicans to victory in a special election for a U.S. House seat, where an initial GOP victory in 2018 was overturned after investigators found evidence of absentee ballot election fraud by Republicans.
It's the second time in the last three months that President Trump has held a campaign rally in North Carolina, as GOP leaders try to push Republican Dan Bishop over the finish line against Democrat Dan McCready.
"I'm going to stand with President Donald Trump," Bishop said at a July rally with the President in Greenville, North Carolina, an appearance which was overshadowed by the chant of "Send her back!" aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
"Dan McCready took money for Ilhan Omar," Bishop told the audience, drawing an avalanche of boos from the Greenville crowd.
Looking forward to being in the North Carolina tomorrow night. We’re having a BIG RALLY for a great guy, Dan Bishop. Strong on Crime, Borders, your Military and our Vets, we need Dan Bishop in Washington badly. His opponent is WEAK on Crime, Borders, and against your 2nd A.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2019
McCready did take a campaign contribution from Omar - who has been vilified by Bishop, President Trump and other Republicans - but returned the election money several months later.
"We’re tied in the polls with three days to go," McCready said in a late fundraising appeal. "But President Trump is raising six figures for my opponent and now he’s coming down for a rally."
Bishop has been using the standard Republican campaign staple of late, using a sound bite from President Trump accusing McCready of being a socialist.
McCready has tried to capitalize on some of the questions being raised about President Trump - in a district which the GOP should have no business losing.
A Democrat isn’t even supposed to be competitive in this red district — but with three days to go, we’re TIED. Let’s get this done! #ncpol #nc09 pic.twitter.com/14fLZHY1t5— Dan McCready (@McCreadyForNC) September 8, 2019
When I interviewed Dan Bishop, he declined to call Dan McCready a “socialist,” as McCready didn’t call himself one.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) September 5, 2019
Bishop’s new ad finds the shortcut: Video of Trump calling McCready a socialist https://t.co/x2deUMSGP1
On Monday, Vice President Pence will join Bishop for a 'Get out the vote' event, and then join President Trump for a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
This race for North Carolina's 9th District seat in the House is really the final election from the 2018 campaign for Congress, as the initial win by Republican Mark Harris was tossed out by the state elections board after mounting evidence of GOP election fraud.
During this summer's campaign between Bishop and McCready, there has been a steady diet of stories about the GOP fraud, with charges being leveled against a Republican political operative for obstruction of justice, illegal possession of absentee ballots, and more.
But it's not clear if that will make a big difference for McCready, who lost the initial election by less than 1,000 votes.
A win by Republicans would certainly calm GOP nerves about 2020, as 14 GOP lawmakers in the U.S. House have already decided not to run for re-election, to only 4 Democrats.
A win for McCready on Tuesday would be a direct rebuke to President Trump, raising more questions about election momentum for Democrats in 2020.
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