(Host) The chairman of the Vermont Republican Party is acknowledging that President Bush faces an uphill battle to win Vermont’s three electoral votes in the November election.
Speaking Tuesday night from the Republican Convention in New York City, on VPR’s Switchboard program, GOP chairman Jim Barnett said there’s no doubt that the Bush-Cheney ticket faces a major hurdle in Vermont:
(Barnett) “It’s going to be a challenge but of the states in New England the president lost in the last election, Vermont was the narrowest margin. A swing of five points could have delivered our three electoral votes to him. So I’m optimistic but at the same time I’m under no illusions of the challenges we are faced with in Vermont.”
(Host) Middlebury College Political science professor Eric Davis thinks there’s virtually no chance that Bush will carry the state in November:
(Davis) “I would say they’re about the same as Senator Kerry carrying Wyoming – infinitesimally bigger than zero. For one thing, Vermont has gone Democratic in the last three elections. Bill Clinton won in both ’92 and ’96 and Al Gore won it in 2000. Senator Kerry is from a neighboring state. Frankly the Bush campaign isn’t putting any resources into Vermont.”
(Host) Davis expects both the Bush and Kerry campaigns will put a lot of resources into the presidential race in New Hampshire because recent polls indicate that the contest is very close in that state.