Can Democrats “Minnick” John Katko and Erik Paulsen?

Stuart Rothenberg November 16, 2017 · 11:46 AM EST

New York Rep. John Katko and Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen have been very popular with voters. Unbeatable? Maybe not, but certainly well-entrenched and able to win in very challenging environments.

But even popular incumbents have been swept from office during partisan electoral waves, and Republicans Katko and Paulsen should be on your radar as potential canaries in the coal mine – early indicators of whether a big wave is building.

Katko, first elected in 2014 in New York’s 24th District, a Syracuse-area seat, and Paulsen, first elected in 2008 in Minnesota 3, a suburban Twin Cities seat, both sit in swing or Democratic leaning seats. Both of their districts went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and for Barack Obama twice.

Katko, who defeated an incumbent Democrat by 20 points in 2014, was reelected with 61 percent of the vote last year even though Clinton was carrying the district by more than three points. Paulsen, who has been re-elected repeatedly by double digits, won a fifth term with 57 percent in 2016 at the same time Clinton was carrying his district by nine points.

But wave elections have buried incumbents who were popular with grass roots voters and supposedly had personalized their districts. The most obvious example of this is Walter Minnick, whom I’ve pointed to…

Members Face Tough Odds in Races for Governor

Nathan L. Gonzales November 15, 2017 · 12:34 PM EST

There’s been plenty of media attention on the 15 members who have decided to call it quits and retire from the House, and another eight members are seeking a promotion to the Senate. But nine additional members are forgoing likely re-elections for uncertain and challenging races to become their…

Ratings Change: Alabama Senate Moves to Toss-up

November 14, 2017 · 4:34 PM EST

Roy Moore is testing a once-hypothetical question: What would it take for a Democrat to win a statewide race in Alabama?

Under normal circumstances, Alabama would elect a Republican to Senate, even a candidate as polarizing as Moore. But the situation changed when The Washington Post reported…

I Interviewed 16 House Candidates in Two Days and Survived

Nathan L. Gonzales November 13, 2017 · 10:10 AM EST

I’ve interviewed at least 1,000 congressional candidates over the last 16 years, but never 16 candidates in two days.

More than 100 Democratic candidates running for the House descended on the nation’s capital a few weeks ago for candidate training hosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign…