Poll: In Vermont, Incumbents Hold Edge In Political Races

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According to the results of a new Castleton State College poll, the incumbents in a number of races are leading by a solid margin.

The new Castleton Polling Institute surveyed 477 likely Vermont voters over the course of the last ten days.

Back in May, a Castleton poll showed incumbent Attorney General Bill Sorrell leading his primary challenger, State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan by 26 points.

The new poll shows Sorrell with 44 percent, Donovan with 24 percent and 31 percent undecided.

Rich Clark is the director of the Castleton Polling Institute. He thinks Sorrell’s incumbent status is a real asset in this race.

"Vermont does not turn away incumbents in a primary as a rule so I think having the name and that recognition really helps," said Clark. "We see the lowest percentage of undecideds of course in Chittenden County."

Clark says voter turnout efforts by the two campaigns will be critical next Tuesday and he says that’s a factor that’s very difficult to measure in a poll.

The poll also shows that incumbent governor Peter Shumlin enjoys a commanding lead over his Republican challenger Randy Brock.

In May, Shumlin led Brock by a margin of 60- to 27 percent.  Clark says the new results show that there’s been little change in this race.

"I don’t know that the public is all that tuned into yet but there’s only 10 percent in the undecided column so people seem to have made a decision and holding to it for now."

The poll results also show that President Obama would easily defeat Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in their race.

The poll has an error rate of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

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