Yesterday’s result in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District special election was met with a huge sigh of relief by Tarheel Republicans. Polls were scarce before the voting began, but the latest one out gave Democrat Dan McCready a four-point lead over Republican Dan Bishop. Now Democrats will point out, rightfully so, that it wasn’t an optimal night for the GOP to have to sweat out this race in a Cook PVI R+8 district. But in extenuating circumstances like those special elections typically present, a win is a win is a win.Bishop’s victory was very close in a district won by Donald Trump by 12 points in 2016. So that seems to bode poorly for the red team in 2020. However, given the 2018 voting scandal perpetratred by GOP operatives that necessitated this special election, to emerge with the seat still in hand is something of an accomplishment. What conclusions can we derive from Bishop’s 2-point special election win? I think not many. The circumstances of this race were just too special, you might say. Yes, Bishop did underperform his predecessor from 2016, but he outperformed GOP nominee Mark Harris’ result in 2018 – even though the fix was in for Harris. Comparing the two previous elections, you could argue that yesterday’s result means the GOP will do better in 2020 than they did in 2018 and not as good as they did in 2016. But I think that kind of takeaway is probably misplaced. Rather than being a clear harbinger of things to come, last night’s result would be better interpreted as a one-off that just happened to be a hard-fought hold for the GOP – and a win is a win is a win.