A Republican victory would show the strength of Trump's coattails in a district in which he personally invested his time and political capital. It would reinforce the power of issues such as immigration. Tuesday night in Fayetteville Trump told supporters they have a "chance to send a message to the America-hating Left."
"The fact is the Democratic candidate aligns more with the SOCIALIST SQUAD than he does with the People of North Carolina," Trump emailed Tuesday. "He's been bought and paid for by Nancy Pelosi and he'll only contribute to their corrupt agenda."
In response, McCready has reminded voters that he's a former Marine who served in Iraq and came back to start a successful business.
Campaigning Monday in Fayetteville, he said the special election is not about Washington but about what matters to voters here in North Carolina. "There's only one person in this race who has served our country in uniform, who has already fought to keep our country safe, and it ain't Dan Bishop," he said.
Bishop consistently tied himself to Trump and sought to cast McCready in the mold of more left-leaning Democrats.
"I'm conservative Dan ... Pro-life. Pro-gun. And pro-wall," he said in his first TV ad. "Wrong Dan? He'll fall right in line with his friends -- socialists, radicals, they hate the values that made America great." On Facebook this month, he said McCready is running a campaign "right out of the radical leftist playbook."
McCready pushed issues like healthcare and education designed to appeal to less partisan voters.
"That's a message that appeals to middle-of-the-road voters," Morgan Jackson, a McCready strategist, told the Observer recently. "If you're going to be successful you've got to turn out your base and you've got to appeal to the middle."
McCready hammered Bishop over actions he took in the General Assembly, including a 2017 vote in which he was the only senator to vote against the final version of the Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act. He had voted for another version of the same bill.
Despite the barrage of TV ads, both campaigns knocked on thousands of carefully targeted doors.