About the poll

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?


17 thoughts on “About the poll

  1. Dennis Shanley

    Well, we’re less than a week from the 4th of July. I suppose it would be possible, at this point, to construct a poll that would show Galbraith and Lisman running head to head with the rest of the pack back in their dust. It all depends on the wording and who’s funding it. Most Vermonters are more concerned about getting a reservation at a state park than who to vote for in a primary at this point. Our new early primary dates haven’t corrupted our carefree summers yet. Don’t despair, political junkies. There’s still plenty of time for things to sugar off. There are no “Super Delegates” to lock up before anyone notices!

  2. NanuqFC

    I hear from a reliable source that Galbraith has the NorthEast Kingdom sown up, primarily because of his anti-ridgeline wind stance. The folks up there are feeling hard-done-by and un-listened-to by a Montpelier-Rutland axis of electrical power bent on raping the ridgelines and disregarding neighboring landowners’ experiences to feed cities’ insatiable appetite for electricity.

    I’m not in the anti-wind camp by any means, although I suspect solar will continue to gain ascendence (fewer moving parts, no noise). But I think the siting process — for wind and for huge mega-solar-“farms” — is clearly rigged to exclude local input: it’s esoteric, labyrinthine, tailor made for high-priced lawyers specializing in corporate representation, and dismissive of issues brought up in plain English that doesn’t match the narrowly written legal definitions encased in the regulations.

    Any gubernatorial candidate ignores that issue at his/her/their peril.

  3. Robert Haskins

    *Really, can anyone tell me why Bruce Lisman is running? Did he honestly believe he had a chance against GOP Golden Boy Phil Scott?

    That’s the question most in the VTGOP scratch their heads about. Lessman is widely known as a lifelong democrat who made his millions on Wall Street with little connection to Vermont’s Main Street. Most VTGOPers see Bruce for what he is, a narcissist who saw a path of least resistance of which his millions could overcome. While Phil Scott won’t fire up the faithful, he’s acceptable to most, something Lessman never understood, hence the drubbing he’s in for in August.

  4. newzjunqie

    I do not have any confidence in this poll. Please. Do you really think an agenda-driven group-of-groups is going to come back and say “Well folks looks like the right is, well, right — we blew up the state”. Hell no. Expect there will be other cherry-picked poll stats, and more lies, damn lies & statistics in the near future.

    Interestingly, in this poll, 25% or more of Dems are supposedly undecided, Dunne-Minter still w/in margin & 1/4 of electorate haven’t decided. Most of VT media are & also represent the ultra liberal & will do whatever possible to maintain the status quo vicegrip which includes resting
    thumb firmly on the scale.

    If the results were different do we rally expect to see them, arriving hat in hand: “VT is sick & tired of us all, our vast overreaches, elitist & tyrannical one party rule & more than ready to toss or sacrifice all it has brought including we the doctrinaire dummies who ushered it all in. We don’t blame them — our bad”.

    “Pardon us for jumping on the newest iteration of the 50 year-old sky-is-falling alarmist climate bandwagon, another ushering of our nation to becoming just another European-style bankrupt socialist backwater & UN-mandated wealth distribution scheme. We’re now getting that we’ve taken it a bit far.

    Rather than the Phil Scott idea of executive order banning wind, we’ll settle for the increased solar array & turbine setbacks & telling our green sponsors to suck it up & leave us alone. That while turbine noise unproven to be a health hazard, still should be treated like any other noise pollution & dealt with as provisioned by current noise statutes on the books”.

    As in the likely shelving & concealment of damning election results last election, stakes are as high or higher, we’re looking at a possible purge & seismic statehouse shift in the near future. Do we really think the power base is going to take this lying down w/o a polite & civil ‘Animal House’ food fight?

  5. Macy Franklin

    Self-appointed smartest guy in the room Lisman is running purely for vanity. He doesn’t give a crap about Vermonters. He’s trophy hunting, wanting his Wall Street buddies fawning at him at cocktail parities that he’s a “Governor”. Given that he’s a life-long Dem and Shumlin supporter, I’m amazed he’s at a pathetic 23%.

  6. Kim Fried

    Did the poll ask Vermonters if they like ridge line industrial wind developments on their mountains, did it ask and explain how the wild life is negatively impacted, did it reference the negative health effects neighbors to these industrial developments are experiencing, did it discuss land value depression,……….no, no, no these truths don’t fit the developers agenda, money is all that counts at the expense of our Vermont and it’s citizens. This poll is a shame and anyone with half a brain, which is the majority of Vermonters won’t be fooled, only the developers and their special interest groups and “feel good, world saviors” will swallow this swill.

  7. James Mason

    If nothing else, this poll does a decent job illustrating how overrepresented renewable energy opponents are on comment boards across the state!

  8. newzjunqie

    So, if the poll was sponsored by the Kochs & result opposite…would you believe it?
    Well it was, sort of. Welcome to the age of the new robber barons, same as the old robber barons. We are being played like a f’king tin piano & used to aid their achievment of grandiose goals b/c they cannot do it w/o us, our revenue, votes or wholehearted unfailing support.

    For this we will be rewarded with slavery. Standard of living will be greatly degraded so that we can afford to finance it all funding their corporate overlords & including patrician heirarchy of overseers to watch over their Fiefdom and crack whip over we the green energy sharecroppers in the colonialzed Green-Banana Republic of Vermont. Remember there is no “I” in herd.

    Energy Independent VT = VPIRG & cronies, some of who have vested interests. Pls do not tell me VTers support this fraud 2-1. ALL VTDigger stories show a much different result. All commenters must ID as real ppl, give name & address unlike new slanted poll so VTDigger numbers, unlike “poll” are verifiably real:
    VPIRG now has own sordid history of dishonesty — and why are they any different than the back-door smoke-filled-room cronyism of the double-dealing carbon industry and all the rest — they’re not, only the smoke has changed. This was found to be fraudulent, many who found their signatures claim not to have supported this:

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      So you’re saying — you’re actually saying — that the comments section of a website is a more accurate measure of public opinion than a poll?

      That’s just completely stupid.

  9. newzjunqie

    No not quite. Those who comment & have been vetted already by giving their names & addresses *are* for simple reason info is verifiable.

    Nearly *all* have clearly defined political leanings & not shy about expressing how they will vote. Can also be looked up with any search engine to find which part of the state they live.

    In fact b/c of this characteristic each story serves as real-time running poll complete with comments also voted up or down, unlike the anonymously-polled such as Survey Monkey which is extremely unscientific.

    Also makes VTDigger uniquely positioned to conduct own online poll where all questions can be seen, not the bait-switch sneaky ones many polls twist to elicit a particular response. The names of those polled can also be seen so it is more accurate than a poll-marketed entity.

    If heavily right-leaning anti-carbon tax north including Franklin Cty & NEK had been represented would have shown the high numbers for Galbraith an above commenter reported. Poll appears brazenly inaccurate with slant to make it appear Galbraith is treading water.

    I believe commenters’ before this poll report b/c even the antiwind effort AS write-in surprisingly successful. These of all VT voters are not folks who are unsure of how they will vote.

    So what am I missing?

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      The entire point, for starters.

      There are certainly grounds to question the results of the EIV poll, and I cited many of them. But it was NOT a SurveyMonkey poll. It was conducted according to the standards of the polling profession. When EVI posted the poll results, they included a whole lot of information about the makeup of the sample AND the specific questions that were asked. Your objections are mostly based on ignorance.

      As for commenters being represented because they use their real names, come on. The problem with online comments is that only people who are strongly motivated actually post comments. Generally, it’s the same handful of people with nothing better to do — such as yourself. Except you don’t use your real name.

      The vast majority of readers never post a single comment. But they can, and do, vote in elections.

  10. walter h moses

    Do I have anything better to do than comment on Walter’s blog?
    Yeah, let’s empty the cat box.


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