Another national political analyst considers former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach’s challenge to longtime DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson a “tossup.”
David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report wrote Friday that the former state senator and lieutenant governor’s campaign presents one of the most serious challenges in recent memory to Peterson, a 15-term incumbent.
Wasserman’s verdict follows that of Kyle Kondik, managing editor for Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, who tweeted earlier that the Seventh District race in western Minnesota, once considered “leans D,” is now a tossup.
Peterson, a centrist Blue Dog Democrat, has seen his hold on the rural district slip, particularly in the last three elections. Wasserman also pointed to Fischbach’s potential access to a large donor network — she’s married to the head of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Peterson also opposes abortion rights.
But Fischbach is still vulnerable, according to the report. Wasserman cited a legal fight over Fischbach’s attempt to keep her state Senate seat even as she replaced current U.S. Sen. Tina Smith as lieutenant governor. Fischbach abandoned the effort, but the litigation cost taxpayers $146,000. Wasserman also said Fischbach’s 23-year legislative career limits the GOP’s ability to argue that Peterson has been in office too long.