MN-03

Vodka and Gelato Tycoon Challenging Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen
Did Democrats just recruit their own Stewart Mills?

Congressional candidate Dean Phillips says Democratic efforts to tie the incumbent to President Donald Trump didn't work last cycle. (Courtesy Dean Phillips for Congress)

long-haired, wealthy businessman whose last name evokes one of Minnesota’s largest family fortunes announced a run for Congress on Tuesday.

No, this isn’t the return of Stewart Mills — yet. (There’s talk the two-time Republican candidate would run again in the 8th District if Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan does not seek re-election.)

24 House Republicans Face Attacks Over Health Care Vote
Liberal advocacy group targets Republicans in TV and digital ads

The liberal advocacy group Save My Care is attacking Arizona Rep. Martha McSally for her vote for the GOP health care plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Twenty-four GOP members of Congress home on recess this week will be greeted by a new six-figure ad campaign attacking them for their vote in the House last week for the Republican health care plan. 

The liberal health care advocacy group Save My Care is launching a TV and digital advertising campaign worth more than half a million dollars on Monday that will run this week. 

Advocacy Group Targets 29 Republicans Ahead of Health Care Vote
American Action Network is making a final six-figure push in support of AHCA

American Action Network’s latest digital campaign targets Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has come out against leadership’s health care plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An advocacy group with close ties to House leadership is launching a final push to pressure 29 Republicans to support the GOP health care plan ahead of an expected vote later this week.

Some of those lawmakers have indicated they won’s support the bill.

Republican Erik Paulsen Re-Elected in Minnesota's 3rd District
Incumbent has a history of winning ticket-splitters

Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen is re-elected in Minnesota’s 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen will defeat Democrat Terri Bonoff in Minnesota’s 3rd District, The Associated Press projects. 

Paulsen led Bonoff 57 percent to 43 percent with 87 percent of precincts reporting.

How Many House Seats Will Democrats Pick Up? Watch These Districts
Certain district types may provide early clues

Democrats need to knock off Republicans who sit in seats President Barack Obama won, like Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, center, and Frank Guinta, R-N.H., right. Defeating Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., would suggest more of a wave. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Not all districts are created equal. They all count the same when adding for a majority, but victories in one type of district may portend a much better night for Democrats than in others. With just four days to go until Election Day, Democrats almost surely won’t gain the 30 seats needed for a House majority on Tuesday. But they will make some gains. Here’s where to watch for early clues as to just how big or small Democratic gains will be.

To achieve double-digit gains, Democrats must win the known battlegrounds. These are the districts that always were going to be competitive, and where presidential year turnout usually gives Democrats an advantage. At the very least, Democrats need to win the districts that President Barack Obama carried — places like Illinois’ 10th District, Nevada’s 4th and 3rd Districts, Maine’s 2nd District, Florida’s 26th District, (which is now even more Democratic), Iowa’s 1st District and New York’s 19th District. If they’re not able to win these seats, Democratic gains in the House will likely be very minimal.  

Even with Trump, Suburban District Is a Reach for Minnesota Democrats
Democrat Terri Bonoff casts Erik Paulsen’s votes as a mirror of Trump

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen runs between houses while door-knocking in his suburban Twin Cities district last weekend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — In his final push for down-ballot Republicans, Speaker Paul D. Ryan is swinging through Minnesota’s 3rd District Wednesday. 

The fact that he’s stopping in this well-educated, suburban district, where GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen is running for a fifth term, is a sign that Democrats have succeeded in using Donald Trump to expand the House battlefield. 

Democratic Super PAC Cancels Minnesota 3rd District Reservations
House Majority PAC cuts TV time for 2nd District for opposite reason

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen can point to recent GOP polling which shows him comfortably ahead of his Democratic challenger Terri Bonoff in the state's 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that works to elect Democrats to the House, has cancelled its TV reservations in Minnesota's 3rd District. 

Democrats had touted the suburban district, held by four-term Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen, as one that Donald Trump's candidacy could help put in play. A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll from Sept. 12 gave Democratic state Sen. Terri Bonoff a 40-38 percent edge over Paulsen.

DCCC Poll Shows Tightening Race in Minnesota's 3rd District
Democrats need to flip suburban districts like this one to win the House

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen is a Democratic target this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the face of a narrowing presidential race and some Senate races looking better for Republicans, Democrats believe a suburban Minnesota district has swung strongly in their favor, representing the kind of dramatic shift they'd need to make serious gains in the House. 

State Sen. Terri Bonoff leads GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen 40 percent to 38 percent in a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll of the North Star State's 3rd District. Bonoff's lead is well within the poll's 5.2 percentage point margin of error.

House GOP Super PAC Investing Record Sums in 15 Districts
Congressional Leadership Fund to spend more than it did in 2012 and 2014

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, is getting help from the Congressional Leadership Fund. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by House Republican leadership, is pouring another $10.7 million into House races as the GOP seeks to defend their hold on the lower chamber and flip several Democratic-held seats. 

The additional spending brings the fund's general election expenditures this cycle to $20.7 million in 15 House districts, nearly twice what it spent in 2014 and 2012. The super PAC spent $11.6 million in 2014 and $10.7 million in 2012. 

Ratings Change: 3 House Races Move Out of Safe
Seats in Florida, Indiana, Minnesota becoming more competitive

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minnesota, still has the advantage, but his race is getting tighter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the eve of the conventions, with Republicans poised to nominate reality show celebrity Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, we’re still waiting for the bottom to drop out of the election for the GOP and jeopardize dozens of House seats.

Thus far, the universe of House battleground districts has been fairly static. Democrats claim they are adding seats to the competitive map, but many of those are districts they haven’t contested in years and finally have a warm body to run in.