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Election 2008: Vermont Governor
GOP Incumbent Governor Leads in Vermont

In Vermont, roughly half the state’s voters want to keep incumbent Republican Governor Jim Douglas in his job. The other half really aren’t sure who they want to replace him.

Rasmussen Reports typically asks about election results in two ways. We ask voters about their first preference and then press a little further to determine the level of that commitment and which way the undecided voters might be leaning.

In the Vermont Governor’s race, 45% say they’d vote to re-elect Governor Jim Douglas and another 8% are leaning in that direction. So, Douglas could attract anywhere from 45% to 53% of the vote.

Independent candidate Anthony Pollina initially earns 25% of the vote, but only 4% remain certain they’d vote for Pollina if it comes down to a choice between Douglas and Symington.

The Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington initially comes in third, with just 20% support. However, another 19% say they could end up voting for Symington.

Normally, the support for the candidates would end up somewhere between the extremes of their polling range. In other words, you might expect Pollina to end up between 4% and 25% while Symington ends up between 20% and 39%. Under normal circumstances, the Democratic candidate would end up closer to the high end of that range while the Independent candidate would end up near the lower end.

However, under any circumstances, Douglas appears to have the support of roughly half the state’s voters. Under Vermont law, a candidate needs to win more than 50% of the vote to be elected. If the top vote-getter wins less than 50% support, the Governor is selected by the legislature. The legislature is controlled by Democrats, but it is widely expected that the person who wins the popular vote will be selected as the new Governor.

Douglas is seeking his fourth two-year term in office after succeeding Howard Dean, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and is now chairman of Democratic National Committee. Douglas' current job approval ratings are 48% good or excellent, 19% poor. Symington was elected to the state’s House of Representatives in 1996 and was unanimously elected speaker in 2005. This is Pollina’s fourth campaign for statewide office.

Rasmussen Markets data gives Douglas a % chance of winning re-election in November. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join, so add your voice to the collective wisdom .

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Vermont Likely Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Douglas (R)




Symington (D)




This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on October 6, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.

Favorable Ratings for Gubernatorial Candidates in Vermont




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About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.