Terri Bonoff

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.

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.

The Seats Democrats Must Win to Retake House
Minority party must gain 30 seats in November; little to no room for error

Democrats are focusing on more suburban districts, where they believe changing demographics are moving seats into the Democratic column, in their effort to regain the majority in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Democratic chances of taking back the House improve with the success of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, party strategists are trying to figure out exactly how and where it’s going to happen. It’s not too difficult to see Democrats gaining 10, or even 20, seats in November, but gaining the 30 required for a majority is more difficult and will require Democrats winning a large swath of seats where Republicans are currently heavy favorites.  

Winning the House majority is more than focusing on the presidential margin and allotting House seats to Democrats because of the strength of some GOP incumbents. For example, Democrats are not going to defeat Republican Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo this year, even though President Barack Obama won New Jersey’s 2nd with 54 percent, or win New Jersey’s 3rd (which Obama won with 52 percent), where wealthy GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur could easily outspend any challenger.