Battle for Congress could hinge on North Carolina district special election
It was the most expensive special election in American history. The candidates, Democrat Dan McCready and Republican Mark Harris, were vying to represent a North Carolina congressional district that President-elect Donald Trump won and the Republicans held in Congress all but since the mid-1990s.
But it also was the most consequential race for Democrats, who hope it will serve as a sign of things to come as Trump and Republicans try to retake the House and Senate in the midterm elections.
Early voting was already starting to wind down in the race for a single House seat in the 7th Congressional District of North Carolina on Tuesday morning. But a final stretch of polling around the state’s capital and major cities Tuesday night will put it on the map — and the race could be a bellwether for the rest of the country.
Democrats believe if they can pick up a House seat like North Carolina’s 7th, they will be able to use it as a springboard for larger gains in 2018. It’s one of the handful of competitive seats they’re looking to flip in 2018, as Democrats’ chances in the country are in the toilet.
In the coming weeks, the race will be a test of Democratic strength in a state Trump won in the presidential race in 2016 and then again in the November election in state-by-state polls — and could be of greater interest to the national party that is seeking to take back the House and Senate in the 2018 midterm election.
What you need to know about the 7th Congressional District race
The 6th, 8th, and 9th Congressional districts are drawn to have one representative elected from each group of the state’s five congressional districts.
Trump won the 7th district by 20 percentage points, and the Republicans now hold both chambers of North Carolina’s General Assembly and control the governorship. The 7th is a suburban part of the state, with a strong African American population and a median household income of $