Longtime House Democrat could lose seat in rural Minnesota, experts say

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 7:49 AM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Former Lieutenant Governor and state lawmaker Michelle Fischbach is hoping to flip Minnesota’s 7th congressional district. According to political experts, she just might have the chance to unseat longtime Democrat incumbent Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)

Peterson is a 30-year incumbent who represents a rural region with agriculture at its core. That’s a rare position for a Democrat in Congress.

Peterson is campaigning as moderate Democrat, highlighting his work as the House Agriculture Committee Chairman and his reach across the aisle to put the industry first.

His challenger, Republican candidate Michelle Fischbach, has statewide name recognition as a state lawmaker and former Lt. Governor. She is running on her support of President Trump and other common GOP themes.

The entire state hasn’t voted for republican president in decades, however the 7th congressional district did vote heavily in favor of President Trump in 2016. Professor Andrew Karch with the University of Minnesota says that’s what is putting Peterson’s seat in jeopardy this time around.

“It’s really pitting Collin Peterson, who has the incumbency advantage, against his opponent Michelle Fischbach, who has the partisan advantage.” Said Karch. “It’s a district that’s more republican. Most non-partisan observers would say there are only abut 25 toss ups in the entire country in this election cycle for the House, and this is one of them.”

Peterson was one of only two Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote against the President’s impeachment back in December.

The 7th Congressional district is the largest in the state, bordering both South and North Dakota

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