U.S President Donald Trump held a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina to drum up support for the GOP candidate in the state's special election, after the discovery of a scandal involving absentee ballot fraud resulting in a GOP win in 2018 forced a do-over.
Roger Fortuna reports.
President Trump made a critical, last minute pitch in Fayetteville, North Carolina Monday (September 9) for the GOP candidate in the state's highly-anticipated 2018 election do-over.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "The radical democrats want to dismantle demolish and destroy everything that you've gained.
And they will do it and it won't take that long.
And that's why we need Dan Bishop and Greg Murphy, we need them.
We need them going down to Congress and helping but they can do it." The race is widely seen as an early test of President Trump's re-election hopes and House control in 2020.
The special election is pitting Republican Dan Bishop against Democrat Dan McCready in a district Trump won by nearly 12 points in 2016.
But a lot has changed since then.
Suburban areas like those around Charlotte have gone from solid Trump country to competitive territory for Democrats.
With a staggering 9-million dollars flooding the contest the race between McCready and Bishop is a toss-up and could be a bellwether for battleground states in 2020.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "It has to seed, it's like a plant.
We've changed things, right?.
Keep America great.
We've changed things.
But it's got to grow it's got a develop those roots." Democrat 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.
Bishop, a state senator known for North Carolina's controversial "bathroom bill" that stripped transgender people of anti-discrimination protections has tied his political identity and election hopes to Trump.
A win this Tuesday (September 10) by McCready, a small businessowner and Marine Corps veteran, would be seen as a powerful sign that Democrats can make real inroads into Trump territory in 2020.
On the other hand, if Bishop takes the race by more than a few points, the special election could provide a real boost to Republicans running in tight races next year around the country.