When Republican Dan Bishop narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready in last night’s special election in North Carolina, it was utterly terrible news for Donald Trump and the Republican Party heading into 2020. If Trump and the GOP can barely eke out a win in a district that red, then we’re on track for another blue wave in the 2020 election. That said, something doesn’t add up about Bishop’s victory.
Last night, the respected Decision Desk HQ pointed out that the difference between McCready’s first attempt at winning this seat in 2018, and his second attempt last night, was largely thanks to Lumbee Indian voters. The Lumbee tribe voted McCready +21 last time, but voted Bishop +3 this time. That’s a huge swing. So what happened?
Today the respected Cook Political Report pointed out that last time around, a Lumbee Indian was on the ballot, running as a Democrat in a separate race. The theory goes that the Democrats within the tribe turned out in large numbers to vote for one of their own in 2018, and also voted for McCready in the process, but they didn’t have a reason to show up this time. Sorry, but we’re not entirely buying that.
Dan McCready just finished running in this same district in 2018. He would have known darn well that the Lumbee Indian vote was crucial to him last time, and that there wasn’t a Lumbee Democrat on the ballot this time. So was he simply too stupid to go campaign with the tribe, or is something else going on here?
It’s only fair to label this suspicious because of the larger context. The Republicans just finished criminally rigging the election in this same district less than a year ago, which is why this special election had to take place to begin with. Now we’re seeing a surreal shift in native voting, at a time when the GOP has been trying to suppress native voting across the nation (see Kansas in 2018), in a district that the Republicans just finished getting caught rigging. Oh, and also, the current Republican president, Donald Trump, is only in office because Russia tampered with the 2016 election. So yeah, we’d like to see some more answers here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report