Peterson faces overflow crowd at town hall

Rep. Collin Peterson's (D-Minn.) town hall today seems like a pretty good example of what centrist Democrats are facing.

More than 300 people filled the meeting to capacity, with an additional 100 listening from two overflow rooms. Even more were turned away all together, according to reports.

Constituents waited up to 30 minutes for the chance to ask Peterson a question.

Peterson, by the way, is a pretty interesting case. He's a conservative Democrat who last tussled with his leadership over climate change legislation, threatening to take down the bill by marshaling all the Democrats on his Agriculture Committee to vote against it if significant changes weren't made. (Pelosi, et al, eventually mollified his concerns.)

So how did Peterson thread the needle today?
But he said Friday that he doesn't support any of the current bills. He told the crowd in Willmar that he will hold out for a provision that would end the geographic disparities that penalize Minnesota and other lower-cost states with less Medicare reimbursement.

That's a logical position that gives Peterson flexibility to tip in either direction when the time comes.
The question for conservative Democrats like Peterson is, even if part of them realizes the town-hallers aren't representative of the country (or their districts), can they bring themselves to ignore crowds of this size?

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