In a recent piece for Alpha News, conservative writer John Gilmore argues that Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) is vulnerable in next year’s midterm elections.
Paulsen, Gilmore says, is in “a permanent, defensive crouch.” As evidence, he points to the fact that Paulsen bailed on a Fourth of July appearance and hasn’t held a town hall for years. (He might also have mentioned the fact that Paulsen didn’t appear at a recent fundraiser for a bombed Islamic center.)
Gilmore says that Paulsen will seek his fifth term next year “with little accomplished to show for it.” To be fair, the The Lawmakers project – the University of Virginia’s scoreboard of political efficacy – has ranked Paulsen’s legislative performance from 2009-2014 as either meeting or exceeding expectations. Still, the causes Paulsen has championed (tax reform, especially) are hard to get excited about. Gilmore suggests that Rep. Jason Lewis, Paulsen’s Republican counterpart in the Second Congressional District, has spent more time “detailing what he hopes to accomplish in Congress, even if that necessarily will take time.”
Paulsen has several other challenges ahead of him. He’ll probably face Dean Phillips, who looks to be a strong opponent in 2018. And Paulsen’s Third Congressional District is moderate in the extreme. Last year, voters preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, but still sent Paulsen to Washington.
The last word must go to Gilmore, who neatly sums up the central problem with Paulsen and the thing that could lead to his downfall in 2018: “Paulsen seems beset by inauthenticity, an almost tangible phoniness, unable to show to constituents that he stands with them rather than with the assemblage of special interests who have funded him his entire political career.”