(Host) Southwestern Vermont towns like Bennington and Pownal seldom have much in common with northeastern towns like Canaan and Norton.
But, as VPR’s Ross Sneyd reports, they did last Tuesday.
(Host) Hillary Clinton won a majority of the vote in only 23 of Vermont’s 250 towns.
Barack Obama won all the rest – and some of them by wide margins.
Clinton’s support was clustered in two regions – the extreme northeastern corner of the Northeast Kingdom, and in Bennington County, described by some as Vermont’s Forgotten Kingdom
Bennington Town Clerk Tim Corcoran says there’s a simple explanation why his was the largest town to throw its support behind Clinton.
She has been a New York senator for eight years now and the Bennington region gets a lot of its news coverage from the Albany area. And, besides …
(Corcoran) "You know, actually Bennington was almost part of New York state, if you go back into the history of it.”
(Sneyd) Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys made sure that didn’t happen.
Allen’s protection was never necessary to keep New York from claiming Canaan, which hugs the Canadian and New Hampshire borders. So why were Canaan and its neighbors pockets of strength for Clinton?
Town Clerk Linda Hikel says she thinks it’s just another sign of Vermont trending ever more liberal over the years, even in the Northeast Kingdom.
(Hikel) "We have a strong Democratic Party here, I think, in Canaan now. We have active. Back years and years ago when we did the caucuses, there wouldn’t be only a Republican one that would show up. Now you’re getting both parties show up for a caucus.”
(Sneyd) Middlebury College political scientist Eric Davis looks down the list of towns that went for Clinton and he sees communities that have older populations and more people with low incomes. Those, he says, are key Clinton constituencies.
Some of the more affluent communities in Chittenden and Addison Counties and in the Upper Valley went for Obama by wide margins.
What really struck Davis was that Obama won a majority in 90% of Vermont’s towns.
For VPR News, I’m Ross Sneyd.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Towns that voted for Hillary Clinton:
St. Albans Town