Wednesday News: Gerrymandering wins, again


BISHOP SLIPS BY MCCREADY IN NC09 DO-OVER ELECTION: Republican Dan Bishop narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready on Tuesday in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, with a strong showing in suburban Union County and three rural eastern counties. With 99% of precincts reporting, Bishop led McCready 50.8% to 48.6% in a race that analysts saw as a harbinger for 2020. Bishop rolled up big margins in Union County and carried Richmond and Cumberland counties, which McCready had won last fall over Republican Mark Harris. He trailed McCready by just over 200 votes in Robeson County, which McCready won handily in 2018. Turnout was about 37%. Trump took credit for Bishop’s win in a tweet: “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.” In fact, polls consistently had shown the race close.

MURPHY SAILS PAST THOMAS IN NC03 SPECIAL ELECTION: Murphy, a Greenville urologist, coasted to victory in Tuesday’s special election in Eastern North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. He will finish the two-year term of the late Rep. Walter Jones, who died on Feb. 10. With all election precincts reporting unofficial results, Murphy defeated Democrat Allen Thomas by 62%-37%. Libertarian Tim Harris and Constitution Party candidate Greg Holt were both at less than 1%. Thomas, in a telephone interview after most of the results had come in, said he ran a strong campaign in a gerrymandered district and he was proud of those who supported him and worked for him. “We ran a positive, first-class campaign that focused on truth and fundamentals and disregarding partisanship, and made it all about the future of Eastern North Carolina,” Thomas said. “That’s the same message that I would carry if we started this race over again tomorrow.” The results reflected a turnout of 24%, lower than what Jones received running unopposed in 2018.

ICE MOVES DETAINEE FROM ALAMANCE COUNTY TO GEORGIA TO DODGE HABEAS CORPUS HEARING: Ibrahima Kaba filed a writ of habeas corpus in April naming Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen, Attorney General William Barr, ICE officials, Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson and one of his officers. It asked for a court appearance where ICE would have to justify his detention as a flight risk or a danger to the community, or give him a chance to get out on bond. At that time, according to his court petition, he had been held in the Alamance County jail for six months and, according to the ICE detainee locator, Kaba was still at the county jail in June. It is not clear when Kaba was transferred to the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga., but In July, according to court records, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina gave him 30 days to submit the $5 filing fee to have his case go forward, to which he didn’t apparently respond, and a July 15 mailing from the court to the jail was returned as undeliverable. ICE Public Affairs didn’t reply Monday afternoon to a Times-News question about when and why Kaba was transferred. Kaba’s petition was unusual, but others like it have succeeded.

TRUMP TOSSES OUT JOHN BOLTON OVER HIS WAR-MONGERING: The departure ended a 17-month partnership that had grown so tense that the two men even disagreed over how they parted ways, as Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired the adviser only to be rebutted by Mr. Bolton, who insisted he had resigned of his own accord. A longtime Republican hawk known for a combative style, Mr. Bolton spent much of his tenure trying to restrain the president from making what he considered unwise agreements with America’s enemies. Mr. Trump bristled at what he viewed as Mr. Bolton’s militant approach, to the point that he made barbed jokes in meetings about his adviser’s desire to get the United States into more wars. Their differences came to a climax in recent days as Mr. Bolton waged a last-minute campaign to stop the president from signing a peace agreement at Camp David with leaders of the radical Taliban group. He won the policy battle as Mr. Trump scrapped the deal but lost the larger war when the president grew angry about the way the matter played out.

TRUMP TRAILS BIDEN AND SANDERS BY A LARGE GAP, BUT ALSO TRAILS WARREN AND HARRIS: The new poll tested Trump against five potential general election challengers, and in four of those cases, the president trails, significantly or modestly. He does worst against former vice president Joe Biden, but also runs well behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and slightly behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.). Against South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Trump is numerically behind but the gap is within the range of sampling error. Among all adults, whether registered to vote or not, the president never tops 41 percent support. Among registered voters, he does better, but his highest level of support against any candidate is 44 percent. In 2016, he won 46 percent of the popular vote to Hillary Clinton’s 48 percent, but nonetheless won an electoral college majority by narrowly winning three northern states that had gone to the Democrats in the previous six elections.



Turnout was dismal

Welcome to my nightmare. 37% in NC09 do-over is pretty bad, but in my local municipal election less than two months from now, if we get 15% I'll consider it a massive improvement.