Interesting House Races, Kentucky-New Hampshire

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The states that range from Kentucky through New Hampshire, in the alphabet, hold 26 House seats, divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans. Althought Minnesota will have four turnovers by party, two will be Republican to Democrat, and two will be Democrat to Republican. Only one very likely turnover, in Michigan, is expected.

Kentucky’s 6th is currently represented by Andy Barr, Republican. Democrat Amy McGrath is neck and neck in polls averaged over time. A recent Republican biased poll puts Bar ahead by 2 points. A recent Democratic biased poll puts McGrath ahead by 7 points. An early September Siena/NYT poll puts Barr ahead by 1 oint, and a somewhat later Pulse poll put them even. So, independent polling says it is a tossup, and biased polling is biased… Can’t call this one a turnover.

Maine’s 2nd district is currently represented by a Republican, Bruce Poliquin, who is being challenged effectively by Jared Golden, Democrat. The two are neck and neck with a slightly higher chance of Golden winning. What is interesting here is that the contest has been a bit of a horse race, with some back and forth. The Siena/NYT poll put Golden well ahead in mid September, and the same source puts Poliquin slightly ahead right now. Too volatile, and close, to call.

Michigan’s 8th district has a Republican incumbant, Bishop, challenged by Democrat Elissa Slotkin, with the two running neck and neck and Slotkin doing slighty better on average over time. The most recent poll, Target Insyght, puts Bishop way ahead, and the turn of the month Siena/NYT agrees. This is one to watch, but it is not a chicken to expect to hatch, as it were.

Michigan’s 11th district is currently represented by Republican David Trott, who is not seeking re-election. Republican Lena Epstein is being challenged by the formidable Haley Stephens, who has been ahead consistently across several polls. The Target Insyght poll, most recent, has them even. Siena/NYT of early october had Stevens ahed by nearly 8 points. 538 puts this race as very likely to be taken by the Democrat, but given the recent shift in polling, I’m not so sure. I’ll count this as a takeaway for now, but we need to look closely at this race.

And now we get to my favorite state, at the moment, Minnesota.

After a tumultuous and uncertain period, we are starting to see some clarity. It is both good news and bad.

Most people are putting Minnesota’s first district, currently represented by Time Walz, who is leaving that seat to run for Governor (and he will likely win the gubernatorial contest), as a tossup. I’ve spent a little time in the district, and I think the Democratic candidate, Dan Feehan, is great. But I do not trust the first district. At present, I have to put this in the turnover category, but going from Democrat to Republican.

Minnesota’s 2nd district is currently represented by the Truly Deplorable Jason Lewis. He is getting his butt kicked by the second time challenger Angie Craig. This is a situation where the good people of the 2nd district went for the Republican during the last election, and are now having serious buyer’s remorse. Last time it was close, Craig almost won. This time, it won’t be too close and Craig will be representing that district. This will be a turnover.

Minnesota’s 3rd district is where I am. The seat is helt by perrenial “he’s not so bad, if you can find him” Erik Paulsen, the Republican incumbent who actually is so bad, and who has contributed materially to the lack of oversight of Trump’s administration (Paulsen is on the committee that could be looking at Trump’s taxes, but they won’t). He is being challenged by Democrat Dean Phillips. Phillips is running a spectacular campaign, and is currently positioned to wipe the floor with Erik

This will be a turnover.

Minnesota’s 4th district is held, by the much loved Betty McCollum, who is beating Republican Greg Ryan and Legalize Pot Susan Sindt by something close to 65-30-whatever’s left.

Minnesota’s fifth district is currently held by African American Muslim Man Keith Ellison. But he is now running for Attorney General of Minnesota (likely to win that race) so the Democrats have selected Somali Muslim Woman Ilhan Omar. I only emphasize gender, ethnicity, and religion here because, well, it is tremendously significant.

Omar is much loved in this district and is beating the other candidate, whom no one can remember, buy a huge margin and can’t lose. So, no turnover, but I thought you’d like to know about the race.

The sixth district is our big problem district. This is the district that put Michele Bachmann in the House of Representatives for as many terms as she wanted to be there. Republican Tom Emmer is there now. Ian Todd, a really nice guy who I hope gets elected for something some day, is trailing way behind. Not Ian’s fault. This district is at present very heavy on the deplorables. The good news, though, is that this district is also now experiencing a pretty serious demographic transition, so in one or two election cycles from now, that 30 point margin between Democrats and Republicans running there will be seriously narrowed. We hope.

Minnesota’s 7th district is solid Democrat. It is a very Republican electorate that has decided to send a Democrat to Congress and likes him (Colin Peterson).

The Eighth District of Minnesota is the great disappointment. The DFL (Democratic party) itself is in shambles in that district. Senseless and brutal infighting allowed for Labor to shove a non-winnable candidate down their throats, with labor now being unable to deliver the votes. Republican Pete Stauber will beat Democrat Joe Radinovich, turning this Democratic district over to the Republicans.

So, in Minnesota, two Democratic districts will become Republican, and two Republican districts will become Democratic. In this way, Minnesota will not be contributing to the Blue Wave in the House. Shame on us.

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