As Vermonters we are lucky -- we have all the amenities a small state can offer, including less political polling per week than almost any other states in the United States. In other words, savvy out-of-state pollsters are not asking us every day how we feel about this presidential candidate or gubernatorial candidate and thus ruining our harmony.
That is, until earlier this week WCAX and Research 2000 conducted a poll and ran amok among those feelings of calm and quiet. Today those feeling of calm and quiet may solely belong to the Democrats. Governor Douglas, in the midst of his ribbon-cutting frenzy, may have to face the fact that his formerly high approval ratings and re-election numbers are moving in the wrong direction.
A recent poll conducted by WCAX and Research 2000 with 400 Vermonters has shaken his world. A couple of things to note about this poll before I discuss Governor Douglas’s nightmare: the poll of 400 likely voters has a 95% degree of confidence and poll numbers are correct within at +/- 5% degree of accuracy.
In short, what this means for Jim Douglas is that he is positive 95% of the time that between 37% and 47% of Vermonters will reelect him to be Governor.
Why should the Governor be nervous?
-If Jim Douglas does not receive over 50% of the vote the legislature gets to decide. Note that is a democratically-controlled legislature.
-He cannot compare apples to oranges because the poll was done without a clear Democratic contender. And, last time Scudder Parker was in the race and running hard.
-Matt Dunne is a clear favorite and a well-known as a tenacious campaigner.
Now the Governor has countered that his internal polling says otherwise, that he is still widely popular and beloved, but frankly he lost all credibility when he quoted the 550 people he talked to during one of his trips around the state as proof that he is headed in the right direction. As any market researcher will tell you, this is purely anecdotal and not scientific.
How is the ribbon cutting working now, Governor?