So finally we have a new poll of the gubernatorial primary races. The first, I believe, since the VPR Poll way back in February. The usual caveats apply: a single poll doesn’t prove a damn thing, etc. Still, there are at least a couple of points to be gleaned,
The poll was commissioned by Energy Independent Vermont, a “group of groups” promoting a low-carbon, high-renewable energy future. There were numerous questions about climate change and renewables policy, and the results were nothing new: broad consensus that climate change is real and (at least partly) human-caused; broad support for Vermont’s renewable energy policy and our goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050; and even substantial support for a carbon tax — when the question is carefully worded.
Those results are heartening to supporters of renewable energy, and are similar to numbers in past surveys. For us political junkies, though, the more interesting numbers are in the race for governor.
They show Phil Scott with a commanding lead in the Republican race*, and a close two-way contest between Matt Dunne and Sue Minter for the Democratic nomination.
*Really, can anyone tell me why Bruce Lisman is running? Did he honestly believe he had a chance against GOP Golden Boy Phil Scott?
Minter has a five-point edge over Dunne, but (a) that’s within the margin of error, and (b) one-quarter of the Democratic electorate remains undecided. Also, this poll didn’t try to determine the depth of support: could those who say they’d vote for, say, Sue Minter today be convinced otherwise, or are their minds firmly made up?
So let’s call the Democratic race a toss-up. Which interests me because, to many political observers (other than me), there’s a perception that Dunne had begun to pull ahead. If this poll is to be believed — in broad strokes, that is — then the race is still very much up in the air.
With exactly one month to go.
Oh wait, have I mentioned Peter Galbraith? The EIV poll gives him eight percent. Eight stinkin’ percent!
Sheesh. Can you say “debacle,” boys and girls?
Which raises a question in my mind. Should Galbraith crash and burn so spectacularly, will it diminish the political influence of the anti-renewable groups touting Vermont’s Energy Rebellion?
They claim that growing legions of Vermonters are rising up against the encroachment of wind and solar farms upon the landscape. Galbraith has been one of their staunchest champions, formerly in the state senate and now on the campaign trail. He is the only Democrat who’s against ridgeline wind. If he can’t even break double digits, won’t the Great Energy Rebellion look more like a damp sneeze?
Yes, I think it will.
The Galbraith candidacy is a big gamble he took on behalf of the anti-renewable crowd. If he throws snake eyes, he will pay the price — but so will they.
So, any more polls coming out between now and August 9?