Minnesota 1, Jim Hagedorn (R) vs. Dan Feehan (D):
Minnesota’s 1st district is an anomaly this year, with the Democrat incumbent Tim Walz declaring he would not run for reelection. Walz squeaked to victory in 2016, edging Jim Hagedorn by less than a single point. Walz’s previous elections were easier in 2014 and 2014, where he won by 6-plus points and 14 points, respectively. Democrats are at a disadvantage when it comes to name-recognition, yet once again are crushing the GOP in fundraising. Daniel Feehan has raised nearly twice as much as Hagedorn, despite Hagedorn’s near-victory two years ago. Johnny Akzam, an independent, is also running in the election, and will likely get a percent or two of the vote.
Red Wall vote: Hagedorn (R) wins, 51-47
Blue Wave vote: Feehan (D) wins, 54-44
Minnesota 7, Collin Peterson (D), incumbent, vs. Dave Hughes (R):
While some Republicans see this as a possible flip, it does not look that way. While the district did go big for President Trump in 2016, Peterson has won every election in the district since 2006 and defeated Dave Hughes in 2016. If Republicans pull off an upset, not only will Republicans keep the House, they’ll likely make gains across the nation.
Red Wall vote: Peterson (D) wins, 52-48
Blue Wave vote: Peterson (D) wins, 57-43
North Carolina 9, Mark Harris (R) vs. Dan McCready (D):
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but this once-safe Republican seat is in jeopardy because a GOP incumbent decided to retire. Such is the story again with Robert Pittenger, who crushed Christian Cano in 2016 by 16 points and obliterated Shawn Eckles by 92 points in 2014. Now it’s a race between Dan McCready, a retired Marine, and Mark Harris, a Baptist minister. This seat is completely up in the air, with the Democrat once again dominating their GOP opponent in fundraising. Without a doubt, if there is indeed a Blue Wave Tuesday night, money will be one of the major causes.
Red Wall vote: Harris (R) wins, 53-47
Blue Wave vote: McCready (D) wins, 53-47
North Carolina 13, Ted Budd (R), incumbent, vs. Kathy Manning (D):
Ted Budd is the incumbent in North Carolina’s thirteen district, but this is only his first reelection campaign. In 2016, Budd defeated Bruce Davis with room to spare, scoring a 12-point victory. This year he’s up against Kathy Manning, a former immigration lawyer and business owner. NC13 is an uphill battle for Democrats and, should they win the district, would spell major problems for the GOP. Even a Blue Wave-type vote would just barely net Kathy Manning a victory, largely because Libertarian Tom Bailey might play a spoiler.
Red Wall vote: Ted Budd (R) wins, 54-43
Blue Wave vote: Kathy Manning (D) wins, 50-48
New Jersey 3, Tom MacArthur (R), incumbent, vs. Andrew Kim (D):
Tom MacArthur has been a member of Congress since 2015 after he rode the Red Tsunami in 2014 to a 10-point victory over Aimee Belgard. In 2016, MacArthur crushed Fred Lavergne by over 20 points. Now, in 2018, MacArthur is in the toughest fight he’s ever had against Andrew Kim, Ph.D. MacArthur is buoyed by high favorables for an incumbent, while Dr. Kim has surprisingly low favorability for a new candidate. Yet this swing district voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, then for Trump in 2016. Like FL15 and ME 2, this is an east coast bell weather. If Kim is up big early in the night, the Blue Wave is real. If MacArthur wins big, the Blue Wave is likely a Blue Fizzle.
Red Wall vote: MacArthur (R) wins, 54-46
Blue Wave vote: Kim (D) wins, 53-47
New Mexico 2, Yvette Herrell (R) vs. Xochitl Torres Small (D):
The current representative of NM2 is Steve Pearce, who is not running for reelection because he is running for governor against Michelle Grisham. In his place on the Republican side is Yvette Herrell, a current state representative. On the Democrat side is Xochitl Torres Small, a former Senate aide. Both Torres Small and Herrell have high favorability among voters, but the district is fairly red. The only thing making this race competitive is Torres Small’s fundraising advantage, and it is massive: she has out-raised Herrell over three-to-one and, as of October 17th, still had over a million dollars on hand.
Red Wall vote: Herrell (R) wins, 54-46
Blue Wave vote: Terres Small (D) wins, 52-48
Nevada 3, Danny Tarkanian (R) vs. Susie Lee (D):
The current incumbent of Nevada’s Third District is none other than Jacky Rosen, who is the Democrat’s nominee for Senate this year. Her victory in 2016 over Republican Danny Tarkanian was small, amounting to just over one point. This year, Tarkanian is back, this time facing off against Susie Lee and several independents, including Tony, Gumina, Steve Brown, Gil Eisner, and David Goossen. Any of these independents can play spoilers to either side; Goossen, for example, received over 3% of the vote in 2016. Ms. Lee has a massive cash advantage over Tarkanian, but there are is anything but a plethora of polls. Results will come in late Tuesday night in Nevada, but a Tarkanian win would be a major warning sign for Democrats trying to take the House, let alone the Senate.
Red Wall vote: Tarkanian (R) wins, 47-45
Blue Wave vote: Lee (D) wins, 50-44