Douglas’ Favorability Rating Could Bode Well For Dubie

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas remains very popular among voters as he prepares to step down after eight years in office.

Douglas’ popularity defies what often happens over the course of a political career, when those in office tend to wear out their welcome over time.

VPR’s John Dillon has more on the results from the VPR Vermont Poll:

(Dillon) Willette Stone from Lyndonville was one of the 625 voters whose opinions were sampled last week. She reflected back on Governor Douglas’s four terms in office and concluded she just likes him.

(Stone) "He’s a very reserved, very nice, very well-spoken and not a typical politician."

(Dillon) Douglas’s high approval ratings surprised Brad Coker, managing director for Mason Dixon Polling and Research, the firm that conducted the VPR Vermont Poll. Coker says Douglas’ popularity could help Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie, the Republican who’s running to succeed him.

(Coker) "I mean his approval rating even after eight years in office is 61 percent, which is very, very good for somebody who’s been around that long, and especially at a time when incumbent politicians are having problems all over the country. So I think that’s perhaps Dubie’s ace in the hole, is Gov. Douglas."

(Dillon) Jim Nicholson from Brattleboro says he plans to vote for Democratic candidate Peter Shumlin in the governor’s race. Yet Nicholson thinks Douglas has done a good job overall.

(Nicholson) "I appreciate Jim’s fiscally minded approach. He didn’t run the budget into the ground, and I think that’s important for me as a constituent, that our politicians are considering the deficit."

(Dillon) Orwell resident Jenny Wilson has a different view of the governor’s job performance. Wilson recently retired from the state Agency of Human Services. Her most recent job was as a child abuse investigator. And she says social programs suffered under the Douglas administration.

(Wilson) "He wasn’t the worst governor in the world, but I tell you the human services in Vermont went to hell when they came in."

(Dillon) The VPR Vermont Poll shows – perhaps not surprisingly – that Republicans had a more favorable view of Douglas than Democrats.

But even 35 percent of the people who identified themselves as Democrats said Douglas has done a good job as governor.

For VPR News, I’m John Dillon in Montpelier.

VPR Vermont Poll Results

Visit Campaign 2010 for full VPR Vermont Poll Results

Governor Jim Douglas (click here for non-Flash version)

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