Republicans Hold a House Seat in North Carolina
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Journal and I am here here with my colleague Kyle Peterson Hello Kyle Hilo. Let's talk about the special election in North Carolina district nine. That's a district but in the southeastern part of the state and it's it's something of a suburban and exurban partly rural district picked getting parts of Mecklenburg County which is parts of Charlotte. Some of the more affluent areas of Charlotte plus also stretching out into rural areas areas donald trump when they went there on Monday evening the day before the vote went to Fayetteville and Republican stronghold and seemed to have made made some impact he turned he turned that the Democrat in the race. Dan McCready lost fifty one to forty nine hundred forty nine percent to fifty one for the Republican Damn Bishop and the turn out in in Fayetteville and in Cumberland County surrounding a Fayetteville did come out for the Republican looking this time Fayette bill had he had McCreevy the Democrat had one that county Cumberland County by four points in two thousand the eighteen but bishop carried it narrowly this time Kyle yeah the story here is similar to what we saw in the midterm elections where where Republicans did better in Exurban Roy areas and did a lot worse than suburbs recall. Republicans lost seats for instance in the Dallas suburbs and it's a similar dynamic taking place here in North Carolina so when they ran this election in twenty eighteen the Democrat Dan McCreevy won by ten points in Mecklenburg County which is in the south of of Charlotte and this time he won by thirteen points in Mecklenburg County while still losing slightly the election but what's what's important to note here is that this is a very seriously red district trump one eight by twelve points it has been in republican hands since the nineteen sixties so there's no reason that this should have been a competitive election but in in fact it was and the Republican won by only about two points which I think bodes ill for Republicans coming next year well one of the reasons it was held was because this election had been won narrowly by a Republican a different Republican in twenty eighteen but they they ah investigated after accusations by the Democrat of foul play and those were substantiated more or less that there had been some ballot harvesting that had been dishonest by the Republican consultant and they the state the election officials called for a new election which we we support it I think was a good decision and so there was some likely to be some fired up Democrats in that district strict and that may have accounted for some of the of the stronger than the strong performance by the Democrat also McRae's good candidate ended a former marine good for the district a strong candidate and so you know that he was going in his in his favor. I guess the question what you're saying. Kyle is that this follows the pattern of two thousand eighteen where Republicans lost the house because they couldn't hold the suburbs and of course in that it wasn't just Dallas it was Houston. They lost a silk stocking seat in Houston. They Lost Austin Charleston. they lost in suburban Chicago. You covered that that house race in particular they lost a lot of places around Pittsburgh I mean unless you may round Philadelphia and if that pattern holds it bodes very ill for their ability to regain gain the house or even pick up many seats back from from what they lost in two thousand eighteen and similar dynamics with the candidates in some in some sense to so Democrat macree the Democrat he's young. He's thirty six a former marine as you said he's an entrepreneur. we saw a lot of those candidates running in the midterms terms. You know mikey Sheryl in a New Jersey. District is a good example of somebody who kind of fits that mold but yeah I think I think you're right. It's it's a bad omen for for Republicans in the House races next year but also I think in the presidential race so in two thousand sixteen Donald Trump won North Carolina by about three and a half points overall and if you think about the swing here this was a trump plus twelve district the Republican has has held it now by only two points I mean that is a huge swing. I mean obviously a special. Election is a completely different animal than a presidential election. The turnout here overall was about about a third of voters compared to fifty five percent or edging up towards sixty percent in a presidential election but still if you if you you are if you're donald trump and you're looking at how do I win North Carolina next year. I think you've got a challenge in front of you. Well interesting. I think the trump white White House. If you ask them they would say well. Wait a minute. We sent the president in on Monday night to Fayetteville. He energize voters there. They came out strong for the Republican candidate. He does have coattails and just think when trump is actually on the ballot he will be able to drive those voters to the polls so let's hold off on the obituaries for trump in North Carolina that would be their argument now alternatively tentatively I think the question becomes can he turn out enough of those voters to win and it's interesting just in terms of this House district. They are almost three dozen. Republican held seats in Congress that are less Republican than this one so those are going to be the ones that Democrats target and it's a suburban Trent. I think it's the Charlotte trend. It's the it's the it's the the well to do. Suburbs where are people are were republican-leaning voters and college educated voters and especially women. are unhappy with US president. They don't like his manner. They don't like the way he behaves. that that I think is the real soft spot in the danger point for the Republicans in two thousand twenty yeah and and I don't mean to write an obituary just to point out that this is an issue and if it's an issue in North Carolina it goes goes to say that it's probably an issue elsewhere too so so in those areas where Republicans lost suburban seats in in the twenty eighteen midterms I mean he's gotTa do better her. in in those areas to some of those states are not states that are going to be in play. Texas you know obviously is is pretty red Sh- Illinois Chicago oh that's that's probably not going to go for trump but some of them are the other the other interesting thing that I have been thinking about is is Joe Biden a winner of this too I mean he he has been making his campaign for the Democratic nomination to be primarily about his electability and so if it is perceived gives that twenty twenty is going to be a close race he can he can much better make that argument if the Democrat had won this if if the special election had gone on very blue in a serious way some of the candidates who are nipping at Biden's heels you know Elizabeth Warren Bernie Sanders could say make a more credible case that we're GonNa win win either way so you might as well get what you want policy-wise whereas I mean if I'm Joe Biden I would be. I would be talking about this race. I would be saying listen. This is gonNA. It'd be close next year. You gotta you gotTa pick the Horse who can who can beat Donald Trump. We're talking about the Special House elections in North Carolina and also the fallout from from John Bolton being ousted as national security adviser and you're listening to Tomac Watch from the Wall Street Journal whatever you and your employees are working four. ADP is designing better ways to help you achieve it from HR talent and time management to benefits and payroll. That's ADP always designing for people from the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal. This is Potomac mcclatch. Welcome back. I'm Paul Zhigo with CAL Peterson and before we go from North Carolina Co.. We should mention that there was another election special election for the House I I think this was due to a retirement and this or was it the death that's right a death of a congressman and Greg Murphy the Republican one that comfortably sixty two to thirty eight although that was in line very much in line with the twenty four percentage point partisan advantage in the district so really no surprises says there everybody was really watching the race in North Carolina nine. Let's let's move to John. Bolton's ouster on Tuesday the Boe both sides. The president continues to insist that he fired Bolton. Bolton says he didn't he do. He wasn't fired. He resigned. I I believe Bolton and I believe Bolton because the president usually when he has fired somebody announces immediately. He didn't though he says he fired him on Monday and the press said he was fire in the White House. Media Operation said he was fired on Monday. The tweet didn't come until late morning on Tuesday and that was after Bolton had submitted his his letter and also after the White House said Said Mister Bulletin will be briefing the press on an issue of anti-terror policy and only then did trump issue the tweet. I think that they were clearly at loggerheads. They had had a testy conversation about Afghanistan on Monday. On the other hand they'd had plenty of testy conversations before so there were some the the real policy disagreements but you know. I don't think the president handled this very well. I think you know he seems to any fire somebody he wants to do it without out when he when he has disagreement wants to how somebody in the really is niceties. I mean he just he treats people badly. it's almost I mean He. He got he removed. Gimenez had said when he retired resigned as defense secretary wanted to give the president two months in the job is a transition trump said no get out of town right now and you know it's it's. I don't think that that is the kind of thing that that gets people. WanNa work for you. although I suppose in this case the allure of that's powerful position will will mean that there are plenty have candidates to be an adviser. the issue is what does this mean for trump foreign policy going forward is they're. GonNa meany change and I've seen some stories saying well. It does means. There's GonNa be no change really. It's it's not significant. I disagree with that. I think that there is likely to be a change because John Bolton was a check was a restraint on some of the president's instincts to do things that we'd have gotten him into trouble for example having a parlay with a Taliban and Camp David as the president himself thought up during nine the anniversary of nine eleven terrible idea for the atmospherics and the substance of the deal and Bolton was against that and I think helped an inside the White House. I was told really one of the few voices who really maybe the only one significantly who spoke up against this yeah. The result may depend in in some part on who gets the job after him who is brought into replace him. There are a lot of names that are floating around and the rumor mill has started though it is hard to imagine someone getting the job who will be as plainspoken and direct as John Bolton is is in public and in private and has long been he's just unvarnished and tells you what he thinks which an job like that can be a a real asset to the president yeah I mean. I think that they're the risk is that the president's foreign policy becomes more erratic check than it has been. I mean I think that's a huge liability for him. Going into the twenty twenty election the Democrats are going to say we're GonNa left her own right. You Know Kim Jong Ooh got fire and fury and then were he's sending us love letters and he's our our new buddy. and I think that there's a risk if trump if trump just defaults to his instincts which whatever you know however he feels when he wakes up that we're going to get more more changes in policy like that. The president's instincts on foreign foreign policy are all transactional. He does have a tendency to reduce all issue. All foreign policy issues to essentially negotiations. He thinks are all amenable to negotiations. He thinks that they're all amenable to kind of great men leaders negotiating whether it be Xi Jinping of China it's about he and he and he and she whether about him and she whether he does it with North Korea about Kim Jong UN and Donald Trump he views these these deals as kind of transactions between individuals and we can all just work it out and what that avoids core what that ignores is the fact that there are very great national interests at stake and they're also large domestic pressures all of of these countries and they're not always amenable to transactions and sometimes the transaction is also viewed as a a marketing being exercise. you know whatever it doesn't really matter. Sometimes what's the deal because what matters is that can be sold as the greatest best deal of all time which is just too trump showmanship. I mean just to go back to the the the matter of the Bolton firing or resigning. That's a great example of where the president just doesn't want to let things flow naturally. He has to come out on top. He has to be the winner. you know his his his catchphrase on the television was not accept your resignation it was you're fired and so that's that's where we whether or not that's really what happened or really you know the best the best use of the president's time and energy to fight this this tiny battle the the winters here. I think in terms of influence with trump appleby as secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin both of whom had their disagreements with a Bolton they now will I think will even be more influential but neither one of these those men POMPEII or Mnuchin want to be the scene as having any difference any sliver of difference on policy with Donald Trump. They studiously try to avoid any any recognition in public in particular that they disagree with the president because they know that that is not something. The president likes the other winner here. I think is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. He's `isolation EST Republican Libertarian Very Anti Interventionist List and he he he is much more influential behind the scenes with trump than most people understand. He talked to the trump frequently about foreign policy he tries to way and he was very much against John. Bolton thrilled with Bolton has gone and on the other hand Lindsey Graham another another senator from South Carolina who has influence with trump on foreign policy. I think is is gonNA miss.. John Bolton because Bolton was often his his ally and issues like Afghanistan on issues like Iran the other thing. I think that we're GONNA see kyle is this is going to allow trump trump t- he's going to he's going to I think indulge his instincts to a greater degree in those instincts will move in the direction of negotiation and I'm Mike sources suggest the president wants negotiation with Iran for example to two hundred on deal to Redo the nuclear agreement. Maybe on terms not that dissimilar from from Brock Obama's he very much wants to deal with Korea obviously North Korea though what he would have to give up to get that one is I think in my view probably too great and I don't see one happening. He also wants the president really wants to to they sit down and do an arms control deal with Vladimir Putin and kind of put the the Ukraine deal passed him so I think those impulses those desires are much more likely to to see expression in the next Fourteen fifteen months or so right and the question is who is in the room advising the president when he is considering the deal that was on the table. I mean just to take North Korea as an example. There's a series of negotiations nations trump flew out and met with Kim Jong and the the US delegation decided that they were going to walk away and that's a great example of the kind of influence that somebody like Bolton behind the scenes can have making the case that this is not a good deal and you know North Korea's. Is this making noises that they're ready to talk again so we may get a new summit here coming up shortly well yeah. I think that that's in fact a possibility. We'll see who the president and nominee pick says his national security adviser. It's will certainly be interesting of the direction he's going but in a way he's probably going to be his own national security advisor as he likes to say you know have good instincts about these things. I know what I want and I know what what I WANNA do all right. Thank you kyle. Thank you all for listening and we'll be back later in the week with another edition of Potomac Watch.