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Minnesota now has 4 'toss-up' races for the U.S House

Erik Paulsen's seat could be in play this November.
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What's happening? 

The Cook Political Report has shifted its ratings for 21 U.S. House districts ahead of the November mid-terms.

The independent, non-partisan election analysts use data to predict which will be the most competitive races in the coming elections, highlighting those that are "likely" or "lean" Republican or Democratic, or those that are "toss-up" races.

What's this have to do with Minnesota?

Minnesota is one of the states to have a ratings change, and it's Republican Erik Paulsen's in the 3rd Congressional District.

Based on recent trends, Paulsen's district has been shifted from "leans Republican" to a "toss-up."

Democrats see a chance to flip Rep. Paulsen's seat, with the GOPer beset by criticism among some locals the past year for failing to hold a Town Hall meeting with constituents.

It now means there are four toss-up races in Minnesota this November, according to Cook, which are:

– 1st District (D – open, current Rep. Tim Walz is running for governor). 

– 2nd District (R – Rep. Jason Lewis).

– 3rd District (R – Rep. Erik Paulsen).

– 8th District (D – Rep. Rick Nolan).

Three of the Minnesota's eight seats are considered safe, those currently held by Democrat Reps. Betty McCollum (CD-4) Keith Ellison (CD-5) and GOP Rep. Tom Emmer (CD-6).

The other, Rep. Collin Peterson's 7th District covering western Minnesota, is considered "Likely Democrat."

Big year in Minnesota politics

Minnesota is seen as a battleground for both parties, with Republicans seeing an opportunity to flip one or both Senate seats up for re-election, while Democrats are eager to hold on to them and flip some Republican House seats.

To switch control of the U.S. House, Democrats need 24 seats nationally.

The Cook Political Report says the changes in its ratings comes despite a slight upturn in approval for national Republican leadership.

It notes however that "district-by-district fundraising and polling numbers are downright terrible for Republicans."

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