The Minnesota 7th CD is the great long-term hope for the MN GOP; someday, when Collin Peterson finally leaves office, the district – I call it “East Dakota” – will never elect another Democrat again. Ever.
But incumbency is everything in a rural district like the 7th.
But maybe lightning can strike. I’ve had a few friends tell me “Watch out for Dave Hughes”, the second-time candidate against Peterson. The district went for Trump by 30 points in 2016, and Hughes is a likeable and hard-working guy.
And today’s news makes for intrigueing reading. Here’s John Hinderaker at Powerline:
Until now, hardly anyone has taken seriously the chance that Republican David Hughes can upset longtime Congressman Collin Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th. But, in a stunning move, Real Clear Politics now rates the contest a tossup.
Peterson has represented the 7th in Congress for 28 years, and has been personally popular in the district. But his vote totals have been slipping with each cycle, and the 7th went for President Trump by 30 points. Peterson has gotten less energetic over the years, and one suspects that he would like to retire. I liken him to Ruth Bader Ginsburg; the Democrats no doubt are pressuring him to stay on, knowing the seat will flip as soon as he retires.
Personal aside: I listened to Hughes debating Peterson on MPR a few weeks ago. Peterson sounded tired, like he was literally phoning it in. If it were a boxing match, Hughes would have won by call.
But maybe the voters don’t want to wait that long. As a practical matter, Peterson, like all House Democrats, is little more than a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. David Hughes has essentially no money, but door knockers in the 7th report that they are seeing five or six Hughes lawn signs for every Peterson lawn sign.
Hughes has no money to speak of – so if you have a few bucks to spare, it could go to much worse causes.