Vermont Incumbents Appear Safe, But Some Downticket Races Are Tight

Nov 6, 2012

Vermonter’s are headed to the polls today to elect a U.S. Senator, Congressman, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State and a new Legislature.

Incumbents at the top of the ticket are favored to win re-election, according to political watchers in Vermont. It’s the down-ticket races that have been getting the attention and will likely be close. Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Political Science Eric Davis expects U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch to be re-elected with overwhelming margins, and incumbent Governor Democrat Peter Shumlin and Lieutenant Governor Republican Phil Scott to be re-elected with 10 to 15 percent margins. Davis says the closer races in Vermont are further down the ballot.

The state Treasurer’s race between Democrat Beth Pierce and Republican Wendy Wilton has been caustic and St. Michael’s College Professor of Political Science Bill Grover says that race and the Auditor’s race are the ones to watch.

Governor Shumlin is expected to easily win re-election, but it’s not for lack of trying by his Republican opponent Randy Brock.  Seven Days Political Columnist Paul Heintz characterized Brock’s campaign as “moribund” in his latest column.

The Democratic control of the Legislature is not expected to change, although Paul Heintz says there may be a few changes.

The polls in Vermont close at 7 p.m.