Annual Survey Reveals Contrasting Views Of Future

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(Host) The preliminary results of Senator Bill Doyle’s Town Meeting Survey reveal a dramatic difference between how Vermonters feel about the future of the state, and the future of the country.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel has more:

(Kinzel) Doyle has tabulated roughly 6,000 surveys. This represents about 40 percent of the total amount. The survey is not scientific, but some past results have been similar to responses from professional polls.

By roughly a two-to-one margin, people say they’re optimistic about the future of Vermont but these results change completely when people are asked if they’re optimistic about the future of the country. 

Only a third of the responses had a positive answer to the national question. Doyle says the differences are striking.

(Doyle) "It is a dramatic difference and I think it’s almost the story of the survey, one of the major stories of the survey."

(Kinzel) Doyle thinks the responses indicate that many Vermonters believe that their state government operates on a manageable level but their view of Congress is much different.

(Doyle) "Most Vermonters have bought into what Vermont is doing and I think they’re very pessimistic. Look at the 9 percent rating that Congress has for instance, and the gridlock. So they thinking in general that the government in Vermont is working and Washington isn’t working."

(Kinzel) The survey also finds very strong support for a four-year term for governor in Vermont.

Doyle says the proposed constitutional amendment faces a very uncertain future because of the opposition of Governor Peter Shumlin.

(Doyle) "Leadership support is important for any issue. Some are very surprised that we still have a two-year term, and it’s greater support than ever before."

(Kinzel) An expansion of Vermont’s Bottle Deposit law to include virtually all plastic water and juice containers also drew some strong support.

(Doyle) "I’ve gotten a lot of letters and telephone calls in favor of the Bottle Deposit, and there were many comments on the back of the questionnaires indicating that their support for updating the bottle deposit law."

(Kinzel) The survey also showed strong support for legislation that would ban the use of any type of cell phone by someone operating a motor vehicle.

For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.


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