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Vulnerable Dem Says He’d Vote For Sanders At Convention

It’s a great season for electoral irony. A “Blue Dog” Democrat–typically more conservative than most Democrats–has said he plans to cast his vote as a Superdelegate for the most progressive candidate in decades, Bernie Sanders.

Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson is vulnerable in his state in November, so in order to appease his base he is making a show of his (reluctant?) support for the Vermont Senator.

“I’m going to vote my district. I’m going to vote for Berniem,” he said. 

The Hill reports:

The centrist Democrat, who is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, said he doesn’t usually attend his party’s presidential nominating convention but may end up going this year. All Democratic members of the House and Senate will serve as superdelegates at their party’s convention in July.

“If my vote makes a difference, I’ll probably go,” Peterson said.

Peterson, who has served in the House since 1991, represents a district that has repeatedly gone for the GOP presidential nominee in recent years. The Forum noted that the centrist Democrat “chuckled at the prospect” of casting his superdelegate vote for Sanders, who identifies himself as a democratic socialist.

Yet Peterson acknowledged that Sanders has had more influence on the 2016 presidential campaign than most political observers expected, particularly with young voters.

“He’s got something going,” Peterson said of Sanders. “He’s tapped into something.”

Some Democrats in tough reelection races this year have expressed discomfort about being associated with Sanders. The overwhelming majority of Capitol Hill Democrats have endorsed Clinton, while six House Democrats have backed Sanders, according to The Hill’s tally of congressional endorsements.

Peterson has not endorsed either candidate.

House Republicans’ campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), seized on Peterson’s indication that he’d back Sanders at the convention.

“In a district that consistently backs GOP presidential nominees, 7th District voters won’t tolerate Peterson’s support of a candidate that is too extreme for even many liberal Democrats,” NRCC spokesman Zach Hunter said.

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