Erik Paulsen

Initial 2020 House race ratings are here
Republicans are on the offense but also running against history

Reps. Max Rose of New York, second from left, and Joe Cunnigham of South Carolina, second from right, here with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at the State of the Union, are among 31 Democrats holding seats the president carried in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After losing a net of 40 House seats in last year’s midterms, Republicans have plenty of offensive opportunities in 2020. But winning back the majority will not be easy.

On paper, the path back to 218 may look simple for Team GOP because it winds through favorable territory. There are 31 Democrats who currently represent districts that President Donald Trump carried in 2016, and Republicans need to gain 18 or 19 seats to regain House control (depending on the outcome in North Carolina’s 9th District).

Democrats identify 44 vulnerable House members to defend in 2020
Almost all the members named to the Democrats’ Frontline Program are freshmen

Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, left, and Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin are among the freshmen whom the DCCCC has named to its Frontline program for its most vulnerable incumbents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats made historic gains in the House last fall, and now they need to defend those seats heading into the 2020 election. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Thursday named 44 members to its Frontline Program for its most vulnerable incumbents.

Rep. Steve Scalise and Roommates Pitch Cooking Show on Twitter
Louisiana Republican will lose his sous chef come January

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks during the press conference following the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A set of four Republican roommates channeled Julia Child over the weekend with a butter-slathered cooking video.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana shares a house in Washington with lawmaking colleagues Kevin Brady, Erik Paulsen and John Shimkus. Together they cooked up a cajun feast of blackened redfish, jambalaya and gumbo, with mashed sweet potato casserole on the side.

Elise Stefanik Wants to Play in Primaries to Help Republican Women
NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer thinks playing in primaries is a “mistake”

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is stepping back from her role at the NRCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik recruited more than 100 women as the first female head of recruitment at the National Republican Congressional Committee. But only one of them prevailed, with many failing to make it through their primaries.

So Stefanik is stepping back from the NRCC to be involved where she thinks it matters.

Midterms Were a Buffet Election for Democrats, Republicans
Each side can pick what it liked best from the results — and ignore warning signs

Sen.-elect Mike Braun, R-Ind., Sen.-elect Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Sen.-elect Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Sen.-elect Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Sen.-elect Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., pose for a group photo in McConnell’s office in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When I was a kid in small-town Oregon, my family would occasionally go to King’s Table, and my sister and I would get free rein at the buffet.

I became famous in my own family for my condiment salad — an impressive collection of bacon bits, croutons, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds and plenty of ranch dressing. Essentially, my strategy involved choosing what looked and tasted good and avoiding anything of nutritional value.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger ‘Disgusted’ By Trump Mocking Unseated Republicans
‘Some of them lost because people, frankly, were voting against the president,’ GOP congressman says

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said some Republicans suffered losses on Election Day because of backlash to the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump the day after Election Day read off a list of defeated Republicans whose losses he attributed to not embracing his endorsement on the campaign trail, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger watched in disgust.

“I wish the president had shown some more grace in that and said ‘Thank you for your service,’ instead of ‘It’s because you didn’t back me,’” the 16th District congressman said in an interview with CNN Tuesday. “I was very disgusted when I heard that.” 

Retiring GOP Congressman: Trump Mocking Defeated Republicans Like ‘Dancing on Somebody’s Grave’
Rep. Ryan Costello has positioned himself as a prominent Trump critic

Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., called President Donald Trump's comments at a press conference Wednesday “deeply offensive.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Retiring Rep. Ryan Costello bristled at the president’s chiding words for Republicans who did not campaign on his support and lost their midterm races, likening it to “dancing on somebody’s grave.”

“It’s highly inappropriate, and it’s deeply offensive,” Costello said in an interview with CNN. “Every single one of those members took tough votes in order to advance a center-right agenda because they believed in it, but they took a lot of heat for it. The president should be thanking them for putting up the tough votes and advancing an agenda which I believe we are better off economically because of a lot of the policies that have been implemented.” 

In Suburban Strongholds, Blue Wave a Republican Wipeout
Democrats expected to hold over two thirds of suburban House seats next year

Democrat Jennifer Wexton, flanked by her mother, Paula Tosini, and husband, Andrew, delivers her victory speech Tuesday night after defeating GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday’s midterm elections have done more than surge Democrats into a respectable House majority: It also wiped out a large chunk of Republicans’ support in suburban strongholds, portending a significant shift in the political alignment of white suburbanites in the Trump era.

Almost all of the House Democratic gains came from the suburbs: They are projected to flip over two dozen seats in primarily suburban districts, sweeping out once-comfortable Republican incumbents including Reps. Pete Sessions in Texas, Peter Roskam in Illinois, and Erik Paulsen in Minnesota.

How Minnesota Told a Bigger Story About 2018 Midterm Partisanship
Republicans flipped two seats, but lost two incumbents

Republican Pete Stauber won Minnesota’s open 8th District, which had been held by DFL Rep. Rick Nolan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite losing control of the House, Republicans won both of their best pick-up opportunities, two open seats in Minnesota where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016.

Former Duluth police officer Pete Stauber won the northeastern 8th District, where Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan did not seek re-election. Jim Hagedorn won the southern 1st District, which DFL Rep. Tim Walz vacated to run for governor. 

Two Electorates, Two Outcomes
Consensus, bipartisanship could be in short supply

The 2018 midterm showed the divided electorate with its divided outcome. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s rare that both parties can celebrate after an election, but that’s exactly the situation after Republicans gained a handful of Senate seats and Democrats picked up around 30 House seats Tuesday night.

Conservatives, white men (particularly those without a college degree) and pro-Trump voters backed GOP nominees, while women (particularly those with a college degree), minorities and younger voters lined up overwhelmingly behind the Democrats.