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Rasmussen Polls Vermont Senate, Gubernatorial Contests


Pollster Rasmussen gave Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy high chances of reelection versus a "generic Republican" in a recent poll of 500 Vermonters.

Just who the hell is this generic Republican person? 

I guess Rasmussen got the memo that Leahy's GOP challenger is businessman Len Britton. Or, that Leahy has a Democratic challenger, Daniel Freilich.

In this match-up against a fictitious generic GOP candidate, Leahy, a Democrat, won by a 58-33 margin. That's about right, given Vermont's electorate is roughly one-third Republican, one-third Democrat, maybe 5 percent Progressive and the rest independent. 

Sixty-six percent of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Leahy, with 46 percent who view him very favorably. Thirty-two percent regard him unfavorably, including 20 percent with a very unfavorable view. Just 2 percent have no opinion of the six-term senator. Must be those folks just moved here.

The poll also found that Vermonters, more than others in the nation, support the federal health care reform just passed by Congress and signed into law by Pres. Barack Obama.

Here's what Rasmussen reports:

Fifty-five percent (55 percent) of voters in the state, for example, favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Forty-four percent (44 percent) oppose the plan. Those with strong feelings are almost evenly tied: 33 percent strongly favor the plan, while 35 percent strongly oppose it. This is a much higher level of support for the plan than is found nationally.

Rasmussen also reported this interesting tidbit: "While a bare majority (52 percent) of Vermont voters think it would be better for the country if most incumbents in Congress were defeated this November, 51 percent say their local representative deserves reelection."

Wow, that means they polled 103 percent of their sample. Impressive.

Finally, one other fun stat from the Rasmussen poll: "Thirty-two percent have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement. Thirty-nine percent do not. Just 12 percent regard themselves as part of that movement."

In a separate Vermont-based poll, Rasmussen found that Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie leads all five of his Democratic challengers in head-to-head match-ups.

Rasmussen reports, "Secretary of State Deb Markowitz [is] the most competitive Democrat for now. Dubie leads her by seven points, 46 to 39 percent. He posts a 48 to 35 percent lead over State Senator Doug Racine, a former lieutenant governor."

Dubie earns 51 percent of the vote against Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, who earns 33 percent. Dubie bests former state Senator Matt Dunne 51 to 29 percent.

Dubie defeats Sen. Susan Bartlett by a two-to-one margin, 52 to 26 percent.

The poll found 64 percent of those polled approve of Gov. Jim Douglas, while 36 percent disapprove.

Among the six gubernatorial candidates, here is how Rasmussen scored their favorability ratings: Dubie was viewed most favorably, while Shumlin was viewed most unfavorably:

Dubie is viewed very favorably by 31 percent of Vermont’s voters and very unfavorably by just 13 percent.

Markowitz’s ratings are 22 percent very favorable and 14 percent very unfavorable.

Racine earns very favorable reviews from 10 percent of voters, but 14 percent view him very unfavorably.

As for Shumlin, 10 percent view him very favorably, while 23 percent view him very unfavorably.

Eight percent of voters in the state have a very favorable impression of Dunne, while 15 percent view him very unfavorably.

Bartlett is viewed very favorably by 5 percent and very unfavorably by 16 percent.