In a new Rasmussen Reports survey of 750 likely Vermont voters, Democrat Peter Shumlin remains slightly ahead of Republican Brian Dubie.
The report, just released to the public, shows Shumlin earning 50 percent of the likely vote and Dubie 45 percent. Three percent of those surveyed were undecided and only 1 percent said they were voting for another candidate.
The survey was conducted on October 28. It's the first survey conducted by Rasmussen since September, when Shumlin officially earned his party's nomination. In that poll, Shumlin led Dubie by three points, 49-46 — a result that fell within the margin of error of 4.5 percent.
Vermont Public Radio's "Vermont Poll" found Dubie edging Shumlin* by just 1 percentage point — a dead heat. That poll was conductd by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research.
This new Rasmussen Reports survey puts Shumlin's lead just outside the margin of error. Rasmussen's telephone surveys are often considered unreliable for two reasons: They often favor Republicans and are seen as less accurate than scientific polls conducted by real people. Rasmussen uses a touch-tone response system.
Shumlin continues to lead Dubie, too, in the "unfavorables" category. Of those polled, 46 percent said they had a somewhat or very unfavorable image of Shumlin (30 percent very unfavorable), while 44 percent said the same of Dubie (22 percent in each unfavorable category).
On the economy and jobs — one of the leading issues in this campaign — 48 percent say Dubie is trusted most to handle the issue, while 45 percent said Shumlin.
YeTo question "Which candidate for governor has a better plan for creating jobs in Vermont, Brian Dubie or Peter Shumlin?" the response was 44 percent for Shumlin and 42 percent for Dubie.
On taxes, 46 percent said Dubie was most trusted to handle the issue, while 45 percent said Shumlin.
Other survey findings: Forty-nine percent of Vermont voters rate their own personal finances as good or excellent, while 12 percent rate them as poor. Twenty-two percent say their finances are getting better, but 40 percent think they are getting worse.
Though Shumlin holds a 53 to 46 percent lead among voters who report their finances are improving, the candidates are virtually tied among those who say the opposite, the survey found.
The Dubie campaign was quick to claim the Rasmussen Reports finding means victory for the lieutenant governor on Tuesday.
His campaign pointed to a 2002 poll by Mason-Dixon that predicted Shumlin would win by two points. Dubie won the election by nine points. In that same poll, Democrat Doug Racine was said to be leading Republican Jim Douglas by 10 points. Douglas ended up winning by three points.
* Original post corrected: Results were transposed from VPR poll