Sunday, September 09, 2012

Vermont Governor Race

Race of the Day

Vermont Governor

September 9, 2012
58 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2008 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

The Green Mountain State is one of just two that elect a Governor every two years, and it seems to be a foregone conclusion that the heavily Democrat state will give incumbent Peter Shumlin another two years to implement his agenda.

Despite Vermont's reputation as being a haven for liberalism, a Republican had led the state for eight years, prior to Shumlin's 2010 election. The year was an eventful for the now Governor, as he had to prevail in a five way primary in which many candidates were costly bunched together that took some time to certify and then in a very close general election. In fact, while Shumlin did place first in the primary, he had to wait to formally be elected by his Democrat controlled state legislature as he failed to capture at least 50 percent of the vote, as required by state law. 

Neither party had a contested primary for Governor this year, and in November, Shumlin will face his Republican opponent, Randy Brock. The GOP nominee had served two years as the elected state Auditor of Vermont before narrowly being defeated for reelection in the strong Democrat year of 2006. In 2008, he rebounded to be elected to the State Senate. Brock, a decorated Vietnam veteran and retired businessman, also happens to be African-American, and the Republican would theoretically be the first black Governor of heavily white Vermont.

In some recent years, Brock would appear to be a very strong candidate in the general election, but the voters are quite unlikely to overturn Shumlin's tenure after just a single term in office, and the electorate will a bit too liberal for a Republican to overcome statewide. Polls this year have shown Shumlin ahead by overwhelming margins. There will be other candidates on the ballot that could take votes away from the incumbent, but they are not going to come anywhere close enough to deny him the 50 percent plus one vote he will need to declare victory on Election Night.

Brock campaign link:

2012 Gubernatorial races predicted thus far: 3 D, 6 R
Predicted Gubernatorial totals thus far: 15 D, 1 I, 32 R