Vermonters no strangers to split ticket votes

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(Host) Vermont voters are well known for crossing party lines to choose the candidate they think is best.

This tendency to split the ticket is the reason why the state often votes for a Democratic candidate for president and a Republican for governor.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) Ask Vermont voters how and why they make their choices and the answers usually come down to: ‘this is candidate whose agenda I support.’ Or, `this is the best person for the job.’

Party affiliation is rarely at the top of the list.

So it was for Doug Pratt of Duxbury, who describes himself as a long time Democrat.

(Pratt) "I voted for John McCain for President. And for governor I voted for Anthony Pollina. I think both of them will take us a better direction than we’re going right now."

(Dillon) Pratt says he doesn’t think both the Republican McCain and the Independent Pollina are at all alike. He’s voting more on hwo he feels about the candidates.

(Pratt) "With what we have for choices this year it’s not necessarily a win-win situation. I’m just trying to go with my instincts and what I think will work best for us. Obviously, I think Governor Douglas hasn’t really done us a lot of favors."

(Dillon) In Barre City, Sean McNaylor split his ticket in the opposite way. He voted for Barrack Obama. And for governor?

(McNaylor) "I voted for Douglas. So I guess I’m voting for a Democrat and I’m voting for a Republican, too. I just voted for who I thought was the best party. I didn’t really know too much about Gaye Symington so I just voted for who I knew, and I’ve been her for eight years, so I think we’re doing good for Douglas moving forward, so I voted for him…"

(Dillon) In a random, unscientific survey, VPR found lots of voters who cast ballots for Obama and Pollina.

That was not the choice for Marie Chilson in Northfield. She picked Douglas and Obama.

(Chilson) "I don’t dislike John McCain but I just felt that Barrack Obama might have more opportunity. I don’t want to say he’s younger. But he’s fresher, he’s just, I just get the feel that he’s got more to offer. I voted for Jim Douglas. I like Jim Douglas, I like what he does, I think he’s done a lot for Vermont, and I see no reason to change that at all. I don’t vote for the party, I vote for the person. I refuse to vote by party."

(Dillon) For VPR News, I’m John Dillon.

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