So, the poll.
The headlines blare “Scott and Zuckerman have double-digit leads.” True enough. But I find my eye drawn to Gov. Phil Scott’s 48% support in the WCAX-commissioned survey. That seems low for a guy who got 69% of the vote two years ago. Has he really lost that many people?
(The same poll has 63% of respondents approving of his job performance. Why do 15% like his performance but don’t plan to vote for him? Bad breath?)
This is not to avoid the core fact, which is that Scott has a 17-point lead on Democrat Brenda Siegel. He remains the heavy favorite, and the poll contains a fair bit of bad news for Siegel. She has fought and clawed her way up to 31% from basically nothing and nearly doubled her name recognition despite a TV-free campaign. The electoral arc is bending in her direction, but Election Day is coming fast. And many voters will cast their ballots long before November 8. She’ll have to sweep the undecideds plus convince more than a few Scott voters to change sides, and do it in a real hurry.
The undecideds in the gubernatorial race amount to only 13%, which ain’t much. The other 8% is split among three fringe candidates, at least two of whom are on the conservative side of the seating chart. She’s not getting much there.
The poll shows that Siegel’s efforts are bearing fruit, but she still needs a lot of things to break her way. She has to keep plugging along, outdo Scott in the remaining debates, and hope for more bad news on administrative cockups, the economy, Covid-19, or something.
In the lite-guv race, Zuckerman holds a 16-point lead: Zuck 51, Joe Benning 35. The former lieutenant governor has a big edge in name recognition. Only 10% are unfamiliar with Zuckerman while more than half of respondents don’t know who Benning is.
The favorability numbers pose a bit of a puzzle. 34% viewed Zuckerman favorably, 22% neutrally, and 34% unfavorably. So you’re saying he’s got all the favorable voters plus the lion’s share of the neutrals? That’s the only way he gets to 51%, unless the unfavorables are voting for him so he’ll be stuck in the purgatory of a powerless office.
That unfavorable number is also a bit of a warning sign should Zuckerman seek higher office. There are quite a few voters who know who he is and don’t like him. That’s not insurmountable, but it is an obstacle.
Overall, Benning is in a little worse shape than Siegel because of his lower name recognition and the relative obscurity of the LG election. Either underdog could pull it off, but they remain longshots. A lot will have to change between now and November 8 if we’re going to have a surprise winner in either office.
Here’s a new boof from one of Phil’s agencies: The ANR elected to withhold a study on flooding last year so they could dish out timber lease contracts on Camel’s Hump. https://www.standingtrees.org/post/press-release-concealed-report-could-gut-state-of-vermont-s-timber-management-program
I hope Brenda Siegel does win. How refreshing it would be to have a person in the top spot who not only cares about the problems Vermonters are facing but actually wants to do something about it. Not just lip service with her. Nope. She’s a fighter with a vision, seems to me when things get tough – she gets going! A solution seeker. Now wouldn’t that be nice?
For all the years Phil Scott has held the top spot we’ve heard a lot of why he can’t. He’s shown us who he is and it’s high time we believe him. You know, you keep on doing what you’ve always done – you keep on getting what you’ve always got. He’s tapped out. No fresh ideas, just the same ol’-same ol’.
I’m really ready for some CAN!! Hope you are too. Vote for Brenda Siegel – because there’s a whole lot that needs fixing around here.
I, for one, am ready to get on with it.
And so is she.
I agree that Phil Scott is less than stellar. However I still plan to vote for him as the thought of having the guv and the two chambers all being the of the very liberal Dem flavor without a bit of check and balance gives me the shivers.
I’m sure those “shivers” are just from your fear of losing out on timber leases on state land.
Good job, Deebat, on the cynicism. However, I believe the government run fully by any party is a bad idea as they can become convinced of their own righteousness . The echo chamber shuts out much that needs to be heard.
I was going to vote for Brenda but she participated in debates that excluded some of the candidates who are on the ballot, so I figure she has gotten too arrogant. Put the name Kevin Hoyt, independent for governor, on the next poll and see how he does.
He *was* in that poll, and he got 3%.
Let’s keep in mind who really runs the Vt agenda and the political system. It ain’t us. How many lobbyists are there for each legislator in Vt. Follow the money.