Choose Your Own Narrative: NC-09 Special Election Edition

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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11 Responses

  1. Philip H says:

    No single election is ever a bellwether. But elections taken together produce trends, and its very clear that Republicans were not as motivated in 2018 to vote in support of seats that should have been “safe.” Gerrymandered or not, incumbents generally hold their seats, so margins matter. And as in NC-09, margins in Republican districts are way down.

    My inference is that Republican rank and file voters don’t actually like the things Republican politicians are doing in their names. Just like the Tea Party Caucus is largely fading into obscurity, the current wave of Trump supporting conservative senators and representatives is not actually solving the problems of their constituents – likely because donors don’t want the problems solved. That bodes ill for republicans IF democrats can actually come up with a better story then “we aren’t them.”Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    This version of NC-09 is radically different than the pre-2011 version, and spent most of the time from then till now in court challenges.

    There is an outside chance that this version of NC-09 won’t be the one used in the 2020 elections. Ten days or so ago a North Carolina court tossed the state legislature’s house and senate maps and required that new ones be drawn up before the primaries there. The North Carolina Republicans have said they won’t appeal that decision. There’s probably not time to move a case involving the congressional districts for 2020 through the state courts, and no guarantees one way or another about what the state courts would say. Either way the 2022 congressional districts will be different, as NC is almost sure to pick up another House seat after the census.Report

  3. Anne says:

    Thanks for the definition of bellwether (I did not know this) and your great imagery it made me laugh and I needed that this morning of all mornings.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    Let’s talk about something more important: who in hell is the audience for this?

    This is the third Politicon, so apparently there is an audience. I’m a political junkie but I would rather undergo emergency root canal than go to this.

    Politicon to me is representative of everything wrong with politics. It treats politics as just another variant of sportsbowl where the sparring combatants probably get beers after arguing on MSNBC or CNN. Instead of being about policies that can influence or change millions of lives for better or for worse (depending on ideology). This is kind of politics is the horserace and if you care about anything else, well “whatever nerd.”

    There are some good names here like Elie Mystal and I am perplexed by his appearance.Report

    • I did a tweet on that, which I stand by, that it is Bipartisan Grifting at it’s finest. Behold it in all it’s glory. One individual listed as appearing DM’d me, who I’ve DM’s with occasionally over the last two years, with an objection to my characterization, to which I ask the follow three questions: Are you being paid, is the organizers making a profit, is the crowd paying to come, and if so then this is a performative show for profit. The terse response answered all three for me.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’m scheduled for root canal on an upper pre-molar on Thursday, so I object to your reference to root-canal because I’m on an antibiotic and Vienna sausage diet for the next day or two, so as to avoid “shotgun-blast to the face” levels of pain.

      That said, the Democratic candidate was up 17 points just a few weeks ago, which in a Republican district indicates that the particulars of the two candidates probably swamped anything else. Unless I’m confused, the Democrat Dan was a photogenic conservative Iraq war veteran, and the Republican Dan resembled a church deacon or used-car salesman.

      So it could be that Republicans are outperforming the polls by 19 points, or it could be that they’re slipping by six or seven compared to where they should be. The error bars are bigger than the effect being studied, so any deep take risks being not only a broad brush, but a Wagner power painter. The district is probably a Rorschach test for political analysts.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      That is a horrific lineup.

      But I just read this article in defense of the Crossfire-type format, and it’s got me wondering if I’m too quick to judge this kind of thing.

  5. Mike Schilling says:

    A take for the sake of having a take:

    It was close because with all eyes on the special election, the GOP was constrained in how much voter suppression and fraud it could accomplish. 2020 will be a different story.Report