Vt Democratic Party predicts strong support for Dean

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(Host) In the 2000 presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore received 149,000 votes in Vermont, winning the state handily over George Bush. In the previous two elections, Vermont went for President Clinton.

Now, though, Governor Howard Dean’s entry into the presidential field changes the political landscape. Mark Michaud, the executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party, says that will make a big difference here:

(Michaud) “There’s still a great deal to ground to cover. But it would certainly be my expectation that the vast majority of Democrats in the state of Vermont, will support Howard Dean’s bid for the presidency. There’s no question about that in my mind.”

(Host) Michaud says he thinks that would be the case even if Al Gore is in the race in 2004:

(Michaud) “I believe even if Gore were in the race, I think that Vermonters – particularly Democrats who have seen what Howard Dean has been able to accomplish in the past 12 years as the governor of the state of Vermont and have seen his work in the field of health care and education and civil rights – can understand that and understand that intimately. Given the ability to make an informed choice between Howard Dean and other potential presidential candidates, I think they’re going to go with what they know.”

(Host) So far, early political polls haven’t shown a surge of enthusiasm in Vermont for Governor Dean’s presidential bid. But Dean continues to receive a warm reception in visits around the country and in the media.

He won’t make an official announcement that he’s running for president until January.

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