In a play that shows their hypocrisy — and reveals the truth — key Democrats have admitted that President Donald Trump is at least partially responsible for the Republican sweep of the special elections in North Carolina earlier this week. Democrats — who always seem to want to have it both ways — have been caught talking out of both sides of their faces this time. Because the same President Trump they correctly claim helped bring about that Republican sweep is the same President Trump they claim is irrelevant and will easily be defeated in 2020.
A little background for anyone who missed it: In two special elections earlier this week in North Carolina, the Republican candidates wiped the floor with their Democrat rivals after President Trump threw his support behind those Republicans. State Senator Dan Bishop won his special election race for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. And Dr. Greg Murphy handily defeated his rivals to take the Third Congressional District race.
Democrats — who spent millions and millions hoping to gain those seats — are unhappy.
In their unhappiness, some of those Democrats seem to have forgotten their “Trump is irrelevant and ripe for defeat” talking points. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Cheri Bustos released a statement after the trouncing that attempted to rally the troops and save face. In that statement, she attempted to spin the facts to make it seem that something unfair had happened to cause the Republican victory in the 9th District race. She wrote, “We fell an inch short tonight, but it took more than $6 million in outside Republican spending and a last-minute Trump rally” to send Democratic candidate Dan McCready home to lick his wounds.
There is some truth in her claims, but — as per usual from the DCCC — there is some misleading going on there, too. True enough, outside spending — primarily from national party committees — gave Bishop an additional $5.8 million in help for his campaign. But the rest of the story is that his actual campaign only spent $1.9 million. So with the money from the campaign and the outside spending, Bishop’s campaign tallied up to $7.7 million for the race. But his Democrat opponent, Dan McCready, spent $4.7 million in campaign money and had another $1.4 million in outside spending. That equals $6.1 million. So the money gap is not as wide as Bustos would imply.
The reality is that — with the spending gap being relatively inconsequential — the difference was made up by President Trump’s support. That must really frost Democrats.
The president realizes the impact of his assist. After the clean sweep, he tweeted, “Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big Rally last night.” As the results were not yet confirmed, he added, “Now it looks like [Bishop] is going to win.”
The story in the victory of Greg Murphy over Democrat Allen Thomas in the coastal Third District is different but illustrates the salient point that Trump’s rising tide raises all ships.
Of course these facts — acknowledged at least in part by Democrats — do not fit with the picture Democrats have been painting of President Trump as a washed-up president on his way out of the White House. Because washed-up presidents hurt their party’s candidates; they don’t help them sweep two special elections in one state.
This rings a good bell for the president for 2020. Following this, Democrats — who seem to have little to offer other than the “anyone but Trump” variety of candidates — should realize that they may be in for a similar trouncing in their ill-fated bid for the White House in 2020.
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