Note: This is a thorough update of an earlier post. I’ve switched from VPR’s numbers to the Secretary of State’s unofficial numbers. The SoS has fewer precincts reporting, but for some reason the VPR returns don’t include the Auditor’s race. I wanted to include Doug Hoffer, so I went to the SoS numbers to provide a consistent base.
Which of these things is not like the others?
No, this is not a trick question. The answer is 86,808.
And where do these numbers come from, boys and girls?
They are the vote totals for the six victorious statewide Democratic (and Prog/Dem) candidates.
The first is Auditor Doug Hoffer, who had no opponents on the ballot. After that we have Secretary of State Jim Condos, Treasurer Beth Pearce, Congressman Peter Welch, and Attorney General Bill Sorrell.
And then, badly trailing the field, is Governor Peter Shumlin.
If you look at those numbers, you have to conclude that the fundamental truth of this election was a repudiation of the Governor.
To be sure, the strength of the competition has a lot to do with the numbers. But consider this one bare fact: roughly 33,000 Vermonters cast votes for Peter Welch and refused to do so for Peter Shumlin. To put it another way, tens of thousands of Vermonters cast straight-ticket Democratic votes except for Dean Corren and Peter Shumlin.
And today, that’s not the kind of company you want to keep.
On top of all that, while this was a good election for Republicans in the legislature, it wasn’t a tsunami or anything. The Republicans did well; they are still on the short end of lopsided partisan divides. Governor Shumlin barely held on against an underfunded neophyte, but the Dems and Progs were victorious in roughly 60% of House races and nearly two-thirds in the Senate.
By far the biggest loser, aside from Dean Corren, was our (presumably) re-elected Governor. This race was partly a thumbs-down on Democrats in general; but far more than that, it was a rejection of Peter Shumlin’s governorship.