Poll finds Vermont voters likely to send 2 Democrats to Washington
MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont is likely to send two Democrats to Washington this November-- that’s according to a new University of New Hampshire poll commissioned by WCAX News.
The poll shows Becca Balint ahead in her U.S. House race and Peter Welch ahead in his bid for the U.S. Senate.
In the U.S. House race to succeed Peter Welch, the UNH poll shows Becca Balint in the lead with 57% to Republican nominee Liam Madden’s 19% and Libertarian Ericka Redic’s 9%.
Balint’s name recognition has jumped significantly as a result of the competitive August primaries.
“Money can’t win you an election but lack of money can lose you an election. So if you’re not spending money to get your name out there, it’s tough to gain traction with the electorate,” Middlebury Political Science Professor Bert Johnson said.
About half of Republicans plan to support Madden and more than one-quarter of GOP voters are supporting Redic.
Madden is a self-identified independent and has said he would not caucus with congressional Republicans. Redic is the more conservative candidate.
But both Madden and Redic remain unknown to more than half of voters-- 61% of voters don’t know Redic and 56% don’t know Madden.
“When you have the purest Republican running as a Libertarian and the Republican nominee openly questioning whether he should be running as a Republican, that’s going to be a problem when trying to beat Becca Balint,” Middlebury College Political Science Professor Matt Dickinson said.
In the U.S. Senate race to succeed retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy, Peter Welch is 34 points ahead of Gerald Malloy, leading 62% to 28%.
“This is someone who has been elected statewide many times now. This shows he is popular in the state. He has a +28 net favorability rating,” said Zach Azem of the UNH Survey Center.
U.S. Army veteran Gerald Malloy, a more conservative candidate, has a more mixed favorability rating, with 18% in favor compared to 28% unfavorable. More than 40% of voters don’t know who Malloy is.
For the past few decades, Vermonters have elected Democrats to Congress. Republicans like Gov. Phil Scott have been able to buck that trend statewide, but political observers note it’s unlikely deep blue Vermont would send a Republican to Washington.
“With respect to the national, people will think, well, Mitch McConnell who is what a Republican senator would presumably vote for as a majority leader,” Johnson said.
Some 765 Vermonters completed the online survey between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3. The margin of error of the UNH poll is 3.5%. Click here for the results from the poll.
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