Vermont candidate filing just closed, and Gov. Phil Scott (R) has jumped out to a major lead according to a new We Ask America survey (6/2-3; 500 VT likely general election voters). The results find the two-term Governor holding a 60-25% margin over Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (D) and a 62-20% margin over former state Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe if she were to win the August 11th Democratic primary. Gov. Scott also posts an 82% job approval rating with a right track/wrong track ratio of 56:24% positive.
Candidate filing closed in Vermont, and Republican Gov. Phil Scott seeks a third two-year term. Three Democrats filed for their party nomination, as expected. Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (D) is the favorite to become the party standard bearer, and he faces former state Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe, and attorney Patrick Winburn. Mr. Zuckerman will also be awarded the Vermont Progressive Party ballot line. Like in New York, candidates may run on multiple party lines and all votes earned are added to individual’s grand total.
There has been little polling of the small Vermont Democratic electorate, but the state is voting on Super Tuesday, and home state Sen. Bernie Sanders may find himself in position to sweep the state’s 16 first ballot delegates. A new Vermont Public Radio/PBS survey was fielded (2/4-10; 603 adults; 332 VT likely Democratic primary voters) and the results project Sen. Sanders with a majority 51% from his home constituency.
The only candidate with what appears to be a potential to reach the 15% threshold for delegate allocation is former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg who posts 13% support in this survey. Though the state has only a minimum number of delegates, a Sanders sweep could prove to be a bonanza for him.
Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (D) announced yesterday that he will enter the Democratic gubernatorial primary to challenge two-term Republican Gov. Phil Scott in a state that consistently votes against the incumbent’s political party. Though Gov. Scott has successfully won two terms – Vermont and New Hampshire are the only two states that limit their Governors to two-year terms – he can never be considered safe in a such a strongly Democratic state. This will be particularly true in 2020 if home state Sen. Bernie Sanders wins the party nomination for President.
Former Vermont Education Department Secretary Rebecca Holcombe (D) announced yesterday that she will challenge Gov. Phil Scott (R) next year. She becomes the first significant Democratic candidate to come forward. It is presumed Gov. Scott will seek a third term.
Vermont, like neighboring New Hampshire, limits its Governors to two-year terms. Therefore, even though Gov. Scott will look to run for a third time, he will have only served four years once his current term ends.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has already announced that he will again seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, also filed a new fundraising committee to seek re-election to the Senate in 2024. As he has always done except when running for President, Sen. Sanders filed as an Independent.
This is yet another indication that the Senator is unconcerned with a Democratic National Committee rule, adopted last year, that only allows Democratic Party members to win the presidential nomination. Mr. Sanders is the only candidate or potential candidate who is neither a registered Democrat nor has held office as a Democrat, which are the only two qualifiers for becoming the party nominee. Since the rule was passed, Sen. Sanders refused the Vermont Democratic Party’s offer of running on their 2018 ballot line and has now filed for re-election more than five years in the future as an Independent.
Delivering a blistering personal attack against President Trump while saying he wants to unite America, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-D/VT) officially announced his presidential campaign via You Tube and email yesterday.
The Sanders entry means that eleven Democrats have either formally announced their campaigns or have filed a national exploratory committee. Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the major outlier at this point. He promises an announcement of his political plans sometime in March, and his decision, regardless of whether he decides to run, will have a major effect upon the overall campaign.
The state of Vermont has an unusual election law in that it allows candidates to simultaneously run for more than one office. Republican Brooke Paige has taken the legal loophole to extremes, however. On Tuesday, Mr. Paige was nominated for the US Senate, the at-large US House seat, state Treasurer, Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Attorney General. Therefore, he will appear on the November ballot for all of these offices.
Though he was successful in winning six simultaneous nominations in the recent Republican primary, his luck will certainly run out for the general election. An 0 for 6 record appears to be on Mr. Paige’s political horizon, as it currently appears that he will lose every race.
Forty states have now chosen nominees as voters in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin went to the polls yesterday. Competitive Governors races will occur in Connecticut (Democrat Ned Lamont vs. Republican Bob Stefanowski), Minnesota (Democrat Tim Walz vs. Republican Jeff Johnson), Vermont (Gov. Phil Scott (R) vs. Democrat Christine Hallquist), and Wisconsin (Gov. Scott Walker (R) vs. Democrat Tony Evers).
The key Senate contests coming from yesterday’s votes are in Minnesota (Sen. Tina Smith (D) vs. Republican Karin Housley) and Wisconsin (Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) vs. Republican Leah Vukmir).
The major story came from Minnesota where former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty lost his comeback bid in a Republican primary loss to 2014 gubernatorial nominee Jeff Johnson.
Today, voters in another four states go to the polls: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. We will provide coverage of the results tomorrow. The most interesting races are the Minnesota Governor’s campaign and several of the state’s congressional races. The Wisconsin Senator and Governor’s contest will also draw major attention.
The Rundown Blog
Before you vote, learn more about the candidates who will support a pro-jobs America.