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U.S. special election holds clues for 2020 race

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 31, 2019 - Duration: 02:28s

U.S. special election holds clues for 2020 race

U.S. President Donald Trump will travel to North Carolina next month to rally voters on the eve of a do-over of a 2018 congressional race that both parties expect to be close, with implications for Trump's re-election bid and lawmakers campaigns in 2020.

Roger Fortuna reports.

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U.S. special election holds clues for 2020 race

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It's the 2018 election do-over that the entire political world is watching with great suspense.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE DAN MCCREADY SAYING: "Now I see politicians so concerned with partisan games they've forgotten who they're supposed to serve." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE DAN BISHOP SAYING: "I'm Dan Bishop.

What's happening in Washington right now is crazy." The special election in North Carolina's 9th congressional district, pitting Democrat Dan McCready against Republican Dan Bishop, their battle widely seen as an early test of President Trump's 2020 re-election hopes and who will control the House.

Trump will personally try to move the needle for his party with a visit just before the Election on September 10th.

Returning to the same district he won by nearly 12 points in 2016.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "The Democratic in the race is an ultra-liberal named Dan McCreadyโ€ฆ He really admires Socialism.

I don't think that works too well in North Carolina." But a lot has changed since then.

Suburban areas like those around Charlotte have gone from solid Trump country to competitive ground for Democrats.

And a whopping 9-million dollars has flooded the contest, mostly from party committees and super PACs.

That's left the race between McCready and Bishop a true toss-up and a bellwether for battleground states in 2020.

McCready lost by a slim margin in last year's race, but state officials ruled the election had been tainted by absentee-ballot fraud benefitting his Republican opponent Mark Harris, forcing officials to call the new election.

This time around, McCready and Bishop are echoing their parties national strategies.

McCready focusing on the signature Democratic issue of healthcare.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE DAN MCCREADY SAYING: "If you have heart disease, the insurance company under State Senator Bishop's proposal, doesn't even have to cover your heart medication." While Bishop is taking a page out of Trump's playbook, painting McCready as an out-of-touch socialist.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ANNOUNCER FOR DAN BISHOP CAMPAIGN AD SAYING: "They want one thing: Socialism." A win by McCready, a small businessman and Marine Corps veteran, would be seen as a powerful sign that Democrats can make real inroads into Trump territory in 2020.

And analysts say even a narrow victory for Bishop wouldn't bode well for other Republicans running in tight races next year around the country.

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