President Trump headed to North Carolina Monday night to fight for a congressional seat up for grabs in Tuesday's special election.
Tuesday's do-over is the last congressional race of 2018. North Carolina's 9th District has been held by the GOP since 1963. In 2016, Trump won the district by 11 percentage points.
Now, after illegal ballot tampering canceled last November's election results, Democrats supporting Dan McCready think they have a chance to storm the stronghold in a run against Republican Dan Bishop.
At a rally in Fayetteville, NC, Trump warned, "The radical Democrats want to dismantle and demolish and destroy everything that you've gained and they will do it and it won't take long."
Some political analysts think the President's make or break endorsement in the state could be a test of his own chances in 2020.
"This will tell us if Trump can carry candidates through suburban districts or not," said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which represents moderate Republicans. If not, she said, the GOP must "work harder to address the concerns of suburban individuals, mainly women."
Before leaving Washington, Trump dismissed questions of whether a poor result for the Republican candidate would serve as a warning sign in next year's elections.
"No, I don't see it as a bellwether," Trump said.
Marshville residents Philip and Diane Ezzell, both 70, were near the front of the line waiting to enter the Trump rally. Both attributed their support for Bishop to his backing by Trump. "We like his values, and he supports Trump," Diane Ezzell said. "And we don't want no socialist clowns."
That was a reference to a TV spot by Bishop superimposing the faces of McCready and other prominent Democrats on swaying clown figures.