This week, the Castleton Polling Institute released a presidential poll of Vermont voters. The number that made headlines: Just as many Republican voters favor Bernie Sanders as any Republican candidate.
The actual result: Bernie’s in a three-way tie with Donald Trump and Ben Carson among Republicans, at a measly 12%. (It’s also worth noting that Hillary Clinton gets 4% support among VT Republicans.)
That’s interesting. But to me, there are two more notable takeaways from the poll.
First, Vermont’s Republican electorate remains splintered and undecided. The fact that no candidate got more than 12% is awfully telling. The real winner is “Not Sure,” with 28%. In other words, Vermont Republicans are thoroughly underwhelmed by what they’ve seen so far. I mean, 16% of them are backing a Democrat, for goodness sakes. That’s almost half who can’t settle on a Republican candidate.
Second, the state’s Republican electorate is relatively immune to the blandishments of snake-oil salespeople.