Analysts are predicting a "wave" election this year, in which all the close races tip in Republicans' favor. To try to predict whether that will happen, it's probably best not to look at the most vulnerable seats held by each party, or to count up the surefire opportunities for Republicans to flip Democratic districts, but rather to look at a few races where Democrats wouldn't be in trouble if not for a wave.

In that vein, Hotline's Josh Kraushaar presents five bellwether House races to watch this year, the seats held by Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy (PA), Gerald Connolly (VA), Ben Chandler (KY), Jim Hines (CT), and Dan Maffei (NY).

See Josh's post for the dynamics at play in each race.