The GOP won a special election billed as a “must win” by the media in NC-09. Congressman-elect Bishop will head to Washington despite Democrats pouring vast resources into the race.
Had the GOP lost, the media would have turned it into a defining narrative. Because they won, the press will move on.
There are a few things worth noting however.
First, the GOP did win.
Second, turnout was down dramatically, which is expected because it was a special election.
Third, Democrat turnout was significant making the race closer than it otherwise would be.
Fourth, this suggests Democrats are still highly mobilized, but also suggests Donald Trump can mobilize his base.
Fifth, the suburbs are definitely trending away from the GOP and they need to be concerned.
Sixth, the exurban and rural areas are trending decidedly away from the Democrats and that is going to be harder for them to fix.
Seventh, though it should be easier for the GOP to get back the suburbs than for Democrats to attract exurban and rural voters, the GOP has no plan to get back the suburbs other than scaring them about Democrats and they are hurt by growing hostility to the President in the suburbs.
All of this shows the GOP still can win in 2020, but does suggest it has work to do. If Democrats continue to mobilize voters in suburbs, the GOP is going to have real problems.