So, predictions.

Let’s get something out there up front. I suck at predictions. I’m not particularly plugged into The People or the political establishment of either party. I’m not a statistical expert; I can’t evaluate the polls for insights and/or flaws. I tend to let my heart get in the way. (Yes, I do have a heart. I’ve been tested.) In 2014, I confidently foresaw an easy re-election win for Peter Shumlin. Which is about the only real test for a would-be prognosticator in my roughly five years of being a Vermont Political Observer.

So stack up the disclaimers like firewood before I take a timorous tiptoe out on a short limb and say…

I think Sue Minter is our next governor.

It’ll be close. Might even need to be affirmed by the Legislature, should Bill Lee draw enough votes to keep her under 50 percent.

Up until three weeks ago, I thought Phil Scott would win. Since then, the momentum is all Minter’s.

She got a huge boost from Bernie Sanders’ endorsement, plus his campaigning efforts and fundraising appeal. The Democratic Party put together three consecutive weekends of rallies featuring a unified ticket plus our Congressional delegation, all standing with Minter.

Beyond that, she’s run a strong campaign while Phil Scott has been trying to run out the clock. Which might have worked in the good old days when Vermont campaigns were a few months long, but not this year. In the final lap, he’s running on fumes.

Scott is also pulling the dead weight of the Donald Trump candidacy and a moribund statewide ticket. It was already an uphill battle, given Vermont’s partisan splits and the fact that it’s a presidential year.

And all signs point to high turnout, which favors the Democrats.

Will I be surprised if Scott pulls it out? No, not at all. But I give the edge to Minter.

None of the other statewide Republicans has a snowball’s chance, including Milne. As for the Legislature, I see modest Democratic gains in both houses. The Dems are certain to pick up a Senate seat in Chittenden County; I wouldn’t be surprised if the Republicans lost a seat (or even two) in Franklin and/or Rutland County.

In the House, Republicans are hoping to pick up a few more seats. I think they’ll be hard pressed to hold on to what they gained in the very low-turnout election of 2014. The Dems will lose a few, certainly; but the net will favor the Dems by, oh, 3-5 seats.

There, I did it. Now I’ll put up a sturdy net to catch all the brickbats.


9 thoughts on “So, predictions.

  1. Brooke Paige


    Make that “Next Governor of Chittenden Co.” and I’d agree with you 100% ! Sadly, Vermont is a lot more than Chittenden Co. and their problems are a different and more profound than those of a College Town populated with a significant number of folks from down-country !

    Surprised you didn’t prognosticate on Bucknam v. Donovan, Brock v. Zuckerman, Welsh(d) v. Welsh(r), Condos(d) v. Condos(r), Pearce(d) v. Pearce(r) or Hoffer v. Feliciano – some of these would be easy to call !

    Best Wishes, Brooke.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      Well, I said the Dems would sweep the statewide races. Kind of a waste of time to go beyond that.

      And you’re right about Chittenden; it’s yooge and continuing to grow.

  2. Dave Van Deusen

    The Eric Davis Challenge -I have one double whiskey against any takers on the following bets (but you would need to give me two to one odds on the first):

    *Governor: Neither Minter nor Scott win outright majority (the difference being the few % captured by Bill Lee and a handful of write-ins for Bernie).

    *Lt Gov: Zuckerman beats Brock by at least 5% (making this the first time in 102 years that a member of a Progressive Party won in any state for Lt Gov).

    *Secretary of State: Mary Alice Herbert (Liberty Union) will get crushed, but will get at least 10% of the vote (making this one of the three highest percentages achieved by the LU for a statewide race in the Party’s history).

    *Treasurer: Beth Pearse wins with at least 84% of the vote

    *Auditor: Hoffer wins with at least 70% of the vote.

    *Attorney General: TJ wins by at least 8%.

    *US Senate: Leahy wins with at least 57% of the vote.

    *US Congress: Welch wins with over 80% of the vote.

    *US President: Trump gets less than 35% of the vote in VT, Clinton wins.

    *VT State Senate/Washington: Pollina is top vote getter in his race.

    *Progressive Party nets at least one new seat in the General Assembly.


  3. Walter Carpenter

    “Up until three weeks ago, I thought Phil Scott would win. Since then, the momentum is all Minter’s.”

    I agree here. She did come on strong, while Scott seems almost to have been a nonentity out there. Maybe the Hillary thing will help Minter as well too.

  4. Brooke Paige

    Endorsements No Substitute for Qualifications !

    Sue Minter failed to convince voters of her ability to serve as the State’s Chief Executive. The panoply of endorsements by the likes of: Casey, Dean, Deans, Kunin, Leahy, Sanders, (the ghost of Shumlin), Warren, Welch and even the Big “O” may have acted as a “dog whistle” signaling that the candidate’s qualifications may have been wanting !

  5. infibelle

    Minters entourage of big name comrades *all* represent our failed-state ruled by doctrinaire dems & progs pursuing their pet pipedreams to brinkmanship. And gender politics soo last century. Cry not at the Republican gov — you’ve still got your wrecking-balls of profligate big-spenders in Montpelier and their neverending new banner programs debuted complete with bumpersticker sloganeering and carpet-bombing of glossy 10″ x 12″ mailers from parasytical nonprofits.

    Whose eyes light up at the very thought of a brand new shiny carbon tax in a poverty-stricken state to “Make the Polluters (driving to, um, work…) PAAAY”! We the unwashed can bike to work as our paunchy politicians ride in style chariot-like Burbans to Montpelier. In CO2 net-zero *rural* VT! And, giddy with the happiness of a nice warm gun-control law — in the state with fhe lowest gun violence! And Minters ran on this — as gun-outlawed Chicago has one of the highest!?

    Suffocating by silencing those deemed as deplorable — that is all who dare reject subjugation of their we-know-best authoritarian rule. By force-feeding the steady diet of liberal idealogical viewpoints and broadcasting ever-growing agenda-laden folly from the collectivist mentality rampant in VT media as well as corporately controlled US media has fallen of its own weight just as the Iron Curtain. In a world all their own of self congratulatory high-five backslapping.

    Minter lost Waterbury?! Ouchie and how very telling…


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