Welp, another month, another Federal Election Commission filing deadline — and another dismal financial report from Your Vermont Republican Party. Its August report is now available online. So let’s sift through the debris…
The Vermont Republican Federal Elections Committee* began August with $28,069 in the bank. During the month, Total Receipts were a paltry $4,341. Expenditures were $15,299, so the party was hemorrhaging money.
*Although the VTGOP is a state party, federal law classifies the bulk of its activities as “federal.” So the FEC reports are the best indicator of the party’s finances.
But wait, it’s worse than that!
The party transferred $3800 from a non-federal account. Actual donations for August totaled $541.00.
Five hundred forty-one dollars. For an entire month.
Today’s big political news is yesterday’s release of a new poll from the Castleton Polling Institute. It measured name recognition and favorability for the declared gubernatorial candidates. The headline number, that Phil Scott has 77% name recognition, is not a surprise at all. He’s the only one in the field who’s run statewide general-election campaigns, and he’s done so each of the last three times. He’s also held numerous high-profile events, such as his Job For A Day Tour and the annual Wheels for Warmth charity drive. It’d be a shock if he wasn’t the most widely recognized.
(The importance of statewide campaigns in building familiarity can be seen by Scott Milne’s very strong 74% and Randy Brock’s respectable 60%.)
Overall, it’s so early in the campaign that the poll is largely meaningless except as a baseline for future polls. That’s exactly the word chief pollster Rich Clark used in characterizing the survey; he downplayed “any sort of predictive value.” Indeed, there’s nothing here that a good candidate can’t overcome in the 11 months until the primary. But hey, the goat’s been slaughtered, so let’s read the entrails.