…from RRH Elections.…
NC-3: NC-3 is an R+12 seat covering much of the rural easternmost part of the state around the Outer Banks. The population of the seat is concentrated in the so-called “Inner Banks”, a collection of small cities and rural areas including Greenville, Jacksonville, New Bern, Elizabeth City, and Kinston.
State Rep. Greg Murphy (R) is the GOP nominee. A urologist by trade, Murphy has represented a seat around the southern side of Greenville in the legislature for four years. With the help of some modest self-funding, Murphy has had good fundraising. He somewhat straddles the line between establishment and antiestablishment conservatism; he is close to both legislative leadership and the local establishment, but also has notable support from Reps. Mark Meadows (R) and Jim Jordan (R), two of the house’s top leaders of Freedom Caucus-type antiestablishment conservatives. Freedom Caucus-aligned PACs have also run ads on his behalf. Thanks to the lean of the seat, Murphy has been considered a strong favorite in the general.
Ex-Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas (D) is Democrats’ nominee. A former tech executive, Thomas served as Mayor of Greenville (pop. 90K) for six years until mid-2017, and could have a significant base from his leadership of the largest city in the district. He has also self-funded significantly, allowing him to have mediocre to good fundraising. Thomas resigned as Mayor to take over a state-run project to redevelop a former Air Force base, which has left him some liabilities, as the State Auditor released a report alleging financial irregularities on his watch. He is running on a technocratic moderate platform, but does not seem to have attracted the level of support or enthusiasm from national Democrats of the NC-9 race.
Our poll from last week showed Murphy up by a solid but far from overwhelming margin of 51-40. Overall, Murphy looks like a strong favorite in this race; the seat is a strongly conservative seat and relatively inelastic, and neither side seems to be treating the race like a major priority. However, special elections can be strange sometimes. If Democrats are energized and Republicans do not turn out as expected, Thomas catching Republicans napping may be a very slight possibility. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Likely R.
NC-9: The more competitive race is in NC-9, an R+8 seat stretching from upscale areas of southern Charlotte and its southeastern suburbs east toward the poor, diverse rural Sandhills region in the south-central part of the state, and then wrapping north to the southern outskirts of Fayetteville. The seat is vacant after the 2018 election was invalidated due to absentee ballot fraud in rural Bladen County on behalf of then-GOP nominee Mark Harris (R), who decided to sit out the rerun election race due to health issues and the bad optics from the 2018 race…
President Trump made an aggressive, eleventh-hour pitch for Republican Dan Bishop on Monday as they sought to head off a potentially embarrassing defeat in the looming special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.
Speaking at a rally here, Trump went on the attack against Bishop’s Democratic opponent, Marine Corps veteran and businessman Dan McCready. The crucial vote on Tuesday will decide the fate of a hotly contested House seat that has remained vacant for the better part of a year.
“Our great Republican candidate Dan Bishop will fight with everything he has to stop sanctuary cities,” he added before calling Bishop on stage.
“We’ve all watched as the Democratic Party, the socialist Democratic Party, seeks the president’s destruction everyday,” Bishop said, echoing a key talking point in Trump’s 2020 strategy. “We’ve seen a dishonest media serve as their handmaidens and their allies in that mission.”
Bishop and his allies have hinged his success in that race on Trump, frequently touting his support for the president’s agenda. They’re hoping that the last-minute visit by Trump boosts Republican voter turnout on Tuesday….