"Despite the national numbers, Obama still holds a very comfortable lead in Vermont," said Rich Clark, director of the Castleton Polling Institute.
Clark says it's a good day to be a Democrat. Recent polls show Gov. Peter Shumlin and President Barack Obama would win by a landslide if elections were held today.
The numbers give Shumlin a decisive lead: 60 percent of Vermonter's say they'd re-elect Governor Shumlin; 27 percent say they'd vote for Republican challenger Randy Brock and 11 percent say they're not sure.
President Obama is putting up similar numbers in the Green Mountain State: 59 percent of Vermonters say they'd re-elect president Obama, 28 percent say they'd vote for Mitt Romney and 6 percent say they're not sure.
"Those two numbers track pretty consistently; that's important to note that there's a good deal of faith in the chief executive of the state and national among Vermonters," Clark said.
Clark says Vermonters are especially likely to re-elect an incumbent governor, even if they don't agree with some of his decisions. Clark cites the CVPS merger controversy as an example. Lawmakers wanted to ensure ratepayers were paid back by CVPS in the form of checks for bailing out the utility back in 2001. Shumlin sided with the utility, which plans to pay back Vermonters by investing their money in energy efficiency programs.
"We see people who don't agree with that they're kind of angry about it and yet they're ready to vote for the governor," Clark said.
Clark says the same goes for President Obama; while many Vermonters say they don't like the direction things are going in the country, it won't change their vote.
"He's given a lot of credit for trying despite the fact that people are not necessarily thrilled with the direction of the country over the past four years," Clark said.
Lt. Governor Phil Scott, R-Vermont, has a 57 percent approval rating, a 4 percent disapproval rating and 38 percent polled are unsure. Clark says this indicates if you know Phil Scott, you like him.
Our poll also shows that a majority of Vermonters have a positive view of the state Legislature. Just a few weeks after the conclusion of the 2012 legislative session, 57 percent of those surveyed approve or strongly approve of the Legislature. A combined 31 percent disapprove or strongly disapprove. That's a stark contrast from national surveys on the performance of the U.S. Congress, which consistently has disapproval numbers in the 70 percent to 80 percent range.
As for reaction to the poll, Randy Brock's campaign put out a statement saying the numbers are purely driven by name recognition and most importantly that it's still early. They say as Vermonters learn more about Randy Brock the race will tighten.
Our pollster, Castleton Polling Institute, asked 607 registered Vermont voters how they would vote.
Here are the results:
QUESTION: If the 2012 election for Vermont's governor were held today and the candidates were Peter Shumlin, the Democrat, and Randy Brock, the Republican, would you vote for Peter Shumlin or Randy Brock?
QUESTION: Do you approve or disapprove of the job Peter Shumlin is doing as governor of Vermont?
QUESTION: If the 2012 presidential election were held today and the candidates were Barack Obama, the Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the Republican, would you vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
QUESTION: Do you approve or disapprove of the job Phil Scott is doing as lieutenant governor of Vermont?
QUESTION: How would you rate the job that the Vermont Legislature is doing? Do you approve or disapprove of the job they are doing? [Probe: Do you feel strongly about your approval/disapproval or not?]
This survey was conducted for WCAX, WDEV and Vermont Business Magazine by the Castleton Polling Institute at Castleton College. A total of 607 registered voters were interviewed statewide by telephone between May 7th to May 16th.
Those interviewed were selected from a random sample of registered voters in Vermont
The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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