Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district

Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district
© Greg Nash

Rep. Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonKate Schroder in Ohio among Democratic challengers squelching GOP hopes for the House The Hill's Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida Peterson faces fight of his career in deep-red Minnesota district MORE (D) won the Democratic House primary in Minnesota’s 7th District, setting up a fierce fight for reelection in a Republican-leaning district.

Peterson did not face much competition in the primary but will face an uphill battle in his race for a 16th term in a district that voted for President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE by about 30 points in 2016.

Former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, who was backed by the state GOP, defeated four rivals to win the Republican nomination on Tuesday, capturing about 60 percent of the vote, according to the AP.

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Republicans are expected to put their full support behind Fischbach as they view the race as one of their best opportunities to flip a seat this cycle.

The former lieutenant governor is already a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program, which sends a signal to national Republicans on who to throw their support behind.

And Peterson finds himself on particularly precarious ground, seeing his margin of victory shrink cycle after cycle. The conservative Democrat won reelection by over 8 points in 2014, 5 points in 2016 and just over 4 points in 2018.

Peterson has sought to maintain his appeal in the district with a number of controversial votes, including against impeaching Trump. However, it's unclear if the Democrat will be able to survive politically in a district moving away from him and in a cycle where GOP voters are expected to come out in force.

The Cook Political Report rates his race as a “toss-up.”