On Tuesday night, Republican Dan Bishop defeated Democrat Dan McCready by a 51-49 margin in the hotly contested special election for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Bishop’s victory increases the size of the Republican Caucus to 199, while Democrats maintain their advantage at 235. Now that this race and another special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District have been decided, the 116th Congress will be operating at full strength for the first time.
This do-over election became necessary after operatives working for last year’s Republican nominee, Mark Harris, attempted to steal the election by manipulating (and possibly discarding) absentee ballots. Despite Bishop’s victory, his 2-point margin was 9 points worse than Trump’s 54-43 win here. A series of weak special election wins for the GOP in 2017 and 2018 presaged last year’s blue wave, so Republicans should remain worried about their continued underperformance.