Dan Bishop, the Republican nominee in next week’s North Carolina congressional special election, claimed on Thursday that the reason polls show he could lose a district that President Donald Trump won easily is that so much money was coming in from out of district to support his Democratic opponent. But most of the money going to support Bishop also comes from outside of North Carolina.
Voters in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District will vote Tuesday in their latest attempt to elect a U.S. Representative. The 2018 midterm election result was thrown out due to election fraud by the then-Republican nominee’s campaign and the seat has been vacant since January. Experts say the race is a toss-up, despite the district being one Trump carried by 11 points in 2016.
On Thursday, Bishop went on Fox News and was asked about a new bipartisan poll that showed him trailing Democratic nominee Dan McCready by a 46 to 42 margin.
“My opponent has been running for 27, 28 months,” he answered, “and he has been funded by $12 million, tons of money from outside the district. A lot from California, New York and New Jersey. A lot of it from hard-left sources.”
But most of the money in support of Bishop in the race has also come from outside of the Ninth District and the Tar Heel state.
Last month, the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics reported that while McCready has outraised Bishop in the race, outside spending by super PACs, party committees, and dark money groups has significantly favored the Republican nominee.
The report noted that the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House Republicans’ campaign arm, had already spent $1.1 million on the race and had reportedly reserved a total of $2.6 million in air time for commercials. “Two conservative super PACs — the Congressional Leadership Fund and Club for Growth Action — have also thrown their support behind Bishop, spending a combined $1.3 million on the race.”
And a ThinkProgress review of Bishop’s own campaign finance filings found that he had taken tens of thousands of dollars from out of state Republican politicians including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (both of California) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (of New York).
Bishop was asked about Trump’s planned campaign visit to the district prior to Tuesday’s special election and whether it was needed for him to win.
“Absolutely,” Bishop admitted. “The president is going to come down and communicate to the people who love Donald Trump and support him as president and want him to accomplish the things he set out to do. They need to hear from him and so we’re delighted he is coming.”
Bishop is currently a state senator. He is best known for spearheading passage of the state’s anti-LGBTQ HB2 in 2016 — a law that cost the state’s economy billions. He was also an early investor in Gab, an online platform popular among white nationalists.