Is Collin Peterson in trouble?

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After I got this news, the first thing I wondered was whether Collin Peterson is in trouble.

In 2018, which was a pretty strong DFL year, Peterson won by 4.26%. In 2016, Peterson won by 5.03%. In 2014, Peterson won by 8.45%. In 2012, Peterson won by 25+ percent.

There’s no question whether the district is trending in the GOP’s direction. The only question left is whether this is the year that Peterson finally meets his match. One thing that’s for certain is that this race will get tons more money pumped into it over the next year. Another thing that’s certain is that this race suddenly became one of the highest profile races to watch this cycle.

Here is Lt. Gov. Fischbach’s official statement:

PAYNESVILLE, MN – Former Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach today announced she is running for Congress in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. Fischbach will challenge Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson, who has been in Washington for nearly 30 years. Fischbach was the most recent Republican to hold statewide office in Minnesota when she ascended from her role as President of the Senate to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“After much consultation and prayer with my family, I have decided to run for Congress,” said Fischbach. “Western Minnesota families deserve a representative who will fight for their values in Washington and support President Trump’s agenda – not the socialist agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Ilhan Omar, and the rest of the squad. People here believe in our constitutional rights. They believe in the right to life. They believe in making sure the next generation has the opportunity to pursue the American dream right here in Western Minnesota.”

Before serving as Lieutenant Governor, Fischbach served in the Minnesota Senate. After the 2010 election, the Minnesota Senate selected Fischbach to serve as President of the Senate, making her the first woman in Minnesota history to serve in that role. After the 2016 election, Fischbach was again selected by the Minnesota Senate to serve as President of the Senate, a position she would hold until she ascended to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“Collin Peterson no longer represents Western Minnesota values,” added Fischbach. “One of his first votes this Congress was to ban the wall, and he votes against President Trump 85 percent of the time. Unlike Peterson, I will work with President Trump to secure our borders, build the wall, fight against the Democrats’ socialist agenda, and keep America great.”

About Michelle Fischbach:

Michelle Fischbach is a trailblazer and a proven conservative leader. She recently served as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, ascending to that position following the resignation of her predecessor. She was the first woman in Minnesota history to serve as President of the Minnesota Senate – initially from 2011-12 and then again from 2017-18. She also served as Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. She was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and served until 2018. She holds a B.A. from St. Cloud State University and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. She and her husband, Scott, live in the Paynesville area and have two grown children and five grandchildren.

About Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District:

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District is the most pro-Trump district in the country held by a Democrat. In 2016, President Trump carried the district by nearly 31 percentage points. According to The Cook Political Report, the district has a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of R+12. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the 116th Congress, Congressman Peterson has voted against President Trump’s agenda 85% of the time.

Highlighting the fact that Peterson has voted against President Trump 85% of the time has to hurt Peterson. If he had voted with Trump 40%-50% of the time, he might be able to deflect the ads that are certainly heading in Peterson’s direction. That’s especially true in a district that Trump took by 31 points in 2016.

Further, the DFL can’t paint Fischbach as a TEA Party radical, though I’m certain that they’ll attempt that. The other thing we can count on is Nancy Pelosi’s PAC dumping $2,000,000-$4,000,000 into this race. Losing this race is something she can’t afford if she wants to keep her Speaker’s Gavel.

I won’t predict the outcome of this race at this point but I won’t hesitate in stating that Peterson’s seat is legitimately in trouble this time.