Trump heads to N.C. for special election — and 2020 test

(Photo credit: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump headed to North Carolina to oversee a mulligan election for a seat tainted by the stink of corruption and fraud. Despite taking place in a historically Republican slice of the state, polls have seen a shift in urban voter preference from red to blue, and rural voters shifting from blue to red, according to Politico.

Trump will be holding a rally for Republican candidate Dan Bishop on Monday night in the hopes of capitalizing on the GOP base in the state and to secure a victory for the right. This is also the perfect time for a campaign stop to bolster his own 2020 election support.

When asked about the challenges faced by Republicans, Bishop acknowledged that increasing Democrat support may be a problem heading into the elections.

“Obviously, Mecklenburg has changed,” Bishop said. “It’s a bluer area in its entirety, even my [state] Senate district. So it’s a little tougher there, and the president may have more headwinds there.”

The GOP is doing everything in their power — including spending an obscene amount of money — to maintain a seat that has been held by Republicans since the ’60s. More than $5 million has been spent in outside funds in an effort to boost Bishop’s campaign.

In fact, the rightward lean is so strong that even Democrat challenger Dan McCready has been forced to adopt some breakaway policies to keep himself in the race. He has promised to put “country over party” and has opposed Democrat-led efforts to impeach President Trump. He recognizes that policies from both parties have had negative consequences for the people of Charlotte, and even shares some common positions with the president.

“The first thing to understand about folks east of Charlotte is their communities have been devastated by the trade deals out of Washington — perpetrated by both parties. The textile jobs are largely gone. The main streets that used to be bustling at lunchtime 30, 40 years ago — many of them sit empty now. What you’ve got to understand is that people feel that politicians in both parties have let them down, and they’re right.”

Dan Bishop, however, emulates more support for Trump, and has denounced what he calls the “unrelenting trifecta of opposition” from Democrats, the media, and even certain government intelligence and law enforcement agencies. When asked about his first-day policies if he were to be sent to Washington, the Republican made it clear that he would not join the cacophony of negativity being spewed around Congress. “I think defending the president — and being vocal about that — will be a role I intend to take immediately,” he stated.

He will be joining the president at the Monday night rally in Fayetteville where he would significantly benefit from Trump’s support. But while the president rallies voters near Fort Bragg, Vice President Pence will be garnering support in the more suburban area of Union County, which — as mentioned earlier — is seeing a leftward shift in politics.

State GOP chairman Michael Whatley is pleased with the president and vice president both showing up to stump for fellow Republicans in an election where it is desperately needed.

“I really like having the vice president doing a noontime event and the president doing an evening event,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter so much where they’re going to be. I think they’re both going to be big draws.”

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