MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – These should be easy times for Republicans in Washington. They control the House, Senate and the White House. But under President Donald Trump, Republicans have been unable to pass key parts of their agenda, most notably a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
This is raising concerns about 2018 elections and whether the GOP can hold their majorities. Republicans in swing districts are considered especially vulnerable.
In Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Hilary Clinton beat Trump by almost 10 percentage points.
Voters in that district split their ballots, giving Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen a convincing win over popular Democratic State Sen. Terri Bonoff.
Since the election, Paulsen has been shadowed by protesters complaining of his stands on issues, including support for repealing Obamacare and his lack of in-person town hall meetings.
Paulsen insists he has been meeting with constituents.
“The most important thing is being accessible and listening — even to the people who I don’t agree with,” he said on WCCO Sunday Morning. “We have had office hours for several weeks where people just come in and sit down, we have had open meetings, telephone town halls…those events continue.”
A number of Democrats are already lining up to run against Paulsen, including prominent philanthropist and businessman Dean Phillips.
Despite the controversies, most political analysts believe the five-term congressman will be favored in a re-election bid. The influential Cook Political Report lists the race at this point as leaning Republican.
Dean Phillips Talks Running For The 3rd District