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October 28, 2008

WCAX Poll Shows Pollina Gaining Ground

A new WCAX-TV poll in the Vermont Governor's race shows Independent Anthony Pollina gaining steam as we head into the final week of the 2008 gubernatorial election.

The new poll, released tonight, shows incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Douglas with 47 percent of the vote, Democrat Gaye Symington with 24 percent of the vote, and Pollina at 23 percent.

In mid-September, a WCAX-TV  poll had this breakdown: Douglas 48 percent, Symington 33 percent and Pollina at 7 percent. In that poll, 12 percent were undecided.

Since then Rasmussen released a poll that many discredited, but seems to hold up now given the WCAX numbers.  Rasmussen poll saw the race this way: Douglas: 45 percent; Pollina: 25 percent: Symington: 20 percent. And, a Macro poll released last week called the race as such: Douglas 43 percent, Symington 18 percent, and Pollina 15 percent.

The poll of 400 Vermonters also revealed that of the three candidates, Douglas has the highest favorables of the three candidates at 50 percent — Pollina was viewed positively by 45 percent of those polled and Symington 34 percent. Douglas is viewed unfavorably by 42 percent of those polled, while Symington is viewed negatively by 45 percent. Pollina was viewed negatively by 35 percent of those polled.

I discuss more fully Gov. Douglas' shift in campaign ads and attacks in this week's "Fair Game" — so be sure to check back tomorrow when it's posted, or pick up a print edition.

For the first time in the campaign, the Douglas campaign is taking Pollina head-on in ads and acerbic press releases. Today, the campaign took issue with his role (or lack thereof) with the Vermont Milk Company.

The gov's internal polls must show a surging Pollina, which could prove problematic if the gov is trying to keep the  election from being tossed to the Legislature, an ever likely scenario with poll numbers like these. If nothing else, Douglas can only hope that giving more credibility to Pollina's campaign — one that has been nearly flat broke for two months — will keep Symington from gaining ground.

Symington's camp was the first to issue a statement on the WCAX-TV poll results. She's not conceding the race to Pollina, or Douglas.

"In the next six days, we’re going to press our case on television and on the ground that I’m the candidate who can deliver the change Vermonters want because I already have a record of doing it," said Symington.  "On election day, I’m confident Vermonters seeking to oust Jim Douglas will choose someone who has been a leader in both the private sector and in government, and who has the new ideas to get our economy moving again."

To date, Douglas has raised more than $1.25 million (and spent more than $967,000), while Symington has raised just under $500,000 and spent about $450,000. Pollina has raised about $230,000 and spent about $223,000 as of Monday's campaign finance filing. He has $19,000 in loans.

I'll update this post as more statements come in from the campaigns.

I just don't see how this is anything but an academic discussion. If Douglas doesn't get 50%, the legislature will still elect him. How could they possibly rationalize electing someone with roughly half the votes? This isn't an IRV election and if it were, we might find that the second choice of many Pollina and Symington supporters is Jim Douglas, not the other lefty.

You should listen to Haik. Someone once told him politics is in his blood. Look for him to replace Tim Russert.

go .. POLLINA!

With a secret ballot, anything could happen in an election in the Legislature.

With a secret ballot, anything could happen in an election in the Legislature.

That's so theoretical. Like there are secrets. Everybody's gonna know who voted for whom in about 2.2 (seconds). And we should. I would never vote for my legislator again if he wouldn't tell me who-all he cast his "secret" ballot for. In my case it's Larson. You hear that Larson? Forget it. Rediculous.

Somebody once told me "politics is in your blood." That's why you should listen to me.

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