Vermont gubernatorial election, 2010
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In the Vermont gubernatorial election of 2010, held on November 2, 2010, Democrat Peter Shumlin defeated Republican Brian Dubie, the state's current Lieutenant Governor. Incumbent Jim Douglas, the Republican Governor of Vermont, was term-limited.
In the August 24, 2010 primary elections, Brian Dubie had the benefit of facing no primary opposition. Peter Shumlin faced four opponents and won with barely a quarter of a point. The Democrat's five-way race on primary day dragged on for nearly a week before Shumlin was certified as the winner by a 197 vote margin. Doug Racine called for a recount, leaving a tiny element of doubt on the Democratic side that persisted for nearly two weeks further, until the final, certified, results.
Vermont is the only state in the Union to feature a Constitutional provision that hands control of the governor's seat to the state legislature in the event that no candidate claims a plurality of the vote in the general election. Under Chapter II, § 47 of the Vermont Constitution:
"...If, at any time, there shall be no election, of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or Treasurer, of the State, the Senate and House of Representatives shall by a joint ballot, elect to fill the office, not filled as aforesaid, one of the three candidates for such office (if there be so many) for whom the greatest number of votes shall have been returned."
This statute nearly came into play in 2010 as Shumlin's victory was only 1.8 points over Dubie, babrely enough to avoid recounts and legislative involvement.
November 2, 2010 general election results
As of November 9, 2010, results were official.
|Governor of Vermont, 2010|
|Republican||Brian E. Dubie||47.7%||115,212|
|United States Marijuana||Cris Ericson||0.8%||1,819|
|Liberty Union||Ben Mitchell||0.2%||429|
|Election Results Via: Vermont Secretary of State|
Inauguration and transition
Governor elect Shumlin took the oath of office on January 6, 2011.
Governor-elect Shumlin's transition team could be reached directly at 802 828 3480.
Appointments in the Shumlin Administration
Shumlin's spokesman, Alex MacLean, confirmed the transition was asking all of outgoing Governor Douglas' appointess to submit letters of resignations, giving the Shumlin team the option to rehire or replace them.
At the top of the team was Bill Lofy, a Democratic political operative, as Chief of Staff. Treasurer Jeb Spaulding was named Administration Secretary. Also on board early with the in-coming administration was Beth Robinson, who was named the General Counsel to the Governor. Senator Susan Bartlett, who lost the primary to Shumlin, became Special Assistant to the Governor. Moving over from the campaign, where he served as Campaign Manager, was Alex MacLean, talking over as Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs.
A fresh round of appointments on November 22, 2010 included four new names:
- Lawrence Miller as Secretary of Commerce and Community Development
- Patricia Moulton-Powden as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Community Development
- Chuck Ross as Secretary of Agriculture
- Annie Noonan as Commissioner of Labor
Vermont's legislature was dominated by the Democratic Party during the 2010 election, where they enjoyed 23 of 30 Senate seats and 94 of 150 House seats, respective majorities of 76% and 63%. However, in the event that the top vote getter in a gubernatorial election where no one takes at least 50% of the vote belongs to another party, the legislature could conceivably appoint as governor a candidate who did not win the popular vote.
Such an outcome was a potential risk in 2008, when the Progressive Party ran a strong third-party race and analysts wondered if such a situation might leave the final outcome in legislative hands. In 2010, third parties are presenting nowhere near such a viable threat to the major parties.
The 2010 Progressive candidate was explicit about her intentions to drop out of the race after the primary and rally support around the Democrat, which is precisely what she did. Republican candidate Brian Dubie was well-known and benefitted from an uncontested primary season. Democrats, however, waited for days after the August primary just to know who, in fact, had won the five-way race. Ultimately, Peter Shumlin emerged as the candidate.
August 24, 2010 primary
With a small population and a primary date shared with Florida, site of Rick Scott's outsider race for the GOP nomination, and Arizona, focus of international attention after the implementation of a new immigration law, Vermont's tight Democratic gubernatorial primary went under the radar.
After midnight on election day, the top vote getters were separated by all of 75 votes, a razor-thin margin even given the state's small population. Matt Dunne, with a fifth of the vote, and Susan Bartlett, well back with 5%, were out, leaving Markowitz, Racine, and Shumlin with around 25% each.
At some point in the course of primary night, the three leading contenders for the nomination all held the lead. The Vermont Secretary of State delayed posting results until the canvassing committee met on August 31, 2010, leaving a host of race watchers and politics writers to obsess over the exact vote tally.
By midday on Wednesday, there was still no clear winner. However, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz had fallen out of the race, narrowing the contest to a fight for each vote between Doug Racine and Peter Shumlin, both members of the Vermont Senate. With 96% of precincts reporting, Shumlin holds a tenuous 132 vote lead.
As of August 28, 2010, while the Vermont Secretary of State had yet to post an official canvass, the Burlington Free Press reported the latest vote count to give the Democratic nomination to Peter Shumlin by 197 votes.
Certification looked to be delayed further still when Doug Racine called for a recount.
|2010 Race for Governor - Democrat Primary|
|Susan J. Bartlett (D)||5.15%|
|Matt Dunne (D)||20.99%|
|Deborah L. Markowitz (D)||24.08%|
|Douglas A. Racine (D)||24.76%|
|Peter Shumlin (D)||25.03%|
|2010 Race Rankings Vermont|
|Race Tracker||Race Rating|
|The Cook Political Report||Toss-up|
|Congressional Quarterly Politics||Toss-up|
|Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball||Lean Democrat|
|Rasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard||Leans Democrat|
|The Rothenberg Political Report||Toss-up Tilting Democratic|
5. Rasmussen moved race from "Toss-up" to "Leans Democrat" on October 31st.
4. Rothenberg moved race from "Pure Toss-up" to "Toss-up Tilting Democratic" on October 28th.
3. Larry J. Sabato moved race from "Toss-up" to "Lean Democrat" on October 28th.
2. Rothenberg moved race from "Toss-up Tilting Republican" to "Pure Toss-up" in October 22nd ratings.
1. Congressional Quarterly ranked this gubernatorial contest as "Leans Democratic" as of January 2010. However, by June 2010, Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker for 2010 re-ranked the race as "Toss up".
General election polling
|2010 Race for Vermont Governor - Rasmussen Reports|
|Date Reported||Dubie (R)||Shumlin (D)||Other||Don't Know|
|October 28, 2010||45%||50%||1%||3%|
|September 13, 2010||46%||49%||2%||3%|
|The November Ballot – Who Made It? Vermont Governor|
|Brian E. Dubie||Republican|
|Ben Mitchell||Socialist Party USA|
|Ben Mitchell||Liberty Union|
|Ben Johnson||Working Families|
|Daniel "Dan" Feliciano||Independent|
|Dennis P. Steele||Vermont Independence Day Party|
|Dennis P. Steele||Second Vermont Republic|
|This lists candidates who won their state's primary or convention, or who were unopposed, and who were officially certified for the November ballot by their state's election authority.|
Under Vermont's law, if no single candidate receives at least 50% of the vote in November, the state legislature, currently controlled by Democrats in the lower chamber and Republicans in the upper chamber, will choose the next Governor. Vermont's legislature is America's only state chamber with significant third party presence; the center-left Progressive Party holds six seats, giving them control of 4% of the legislature.
- State senator Susan Bartlett
- Former state senator Matt Dunne
- Vermont Secretary of State Deborah L. Markowitz
- State senator Douglas Racine
- State senator Peter Shumlin
Liberty Party and Socialist Party USA
- Martha Abbott, chair of the state Progressive Party
- Current Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie
- Incumbent Jim Douglas announced on August 27, 2009 that he wadid not run for re-election.
Gubernatorial electoral history
|2004 Gubernatorial Results|
|Jim Douglas (R)||58.70%|
|Peter Clavelle (D)||37.93%|
|Cris Ericson (M)||1.36%|
|Patricia Hejny (I)||0.79%|
|Hardy Machia (L)||0.73%|
|Peter Diamondstone (LU)||0.42%|
|2006 Gubernatorial Results|
|Jim Douglas (R)||56.38%|
|Scudder Parker (D)||41.17%|
|Cris Ericson (I)||0.94%|
|Jim Hogue (VG)||0.74%|
|Benjamin Clarke (VL)||0.46%|
|2008 Gubernatorial Results|
|Jim Douglas (R)||53.43%|
|Anthony Pollina (I)||21.87%|
|Gaye Symington (D)||21.79%|
|Tony O'Connor (CRE)||0.97%|
|Sam Young (I)||0.78%|
|Peter Diamondstone (LU)||0.54%|
|Chris Ericson (I)||0.53%|
Presidential electoral history
|2000 Presidential Results|
|George W. Bush (R)||40.70%|
|Al Gore (D)||50.63%|
|2004 Presidential Results|
|George W. Bush (R)||38.80%|
|John Kerry (D)||58.94%|
|2008 Presidential Results|
|John McCain (R)||30.45%|
|Barack Obama (D)||67.46%|
|1992 Presidential Results|
|George H.W. Bush (R)||30.42%|
|Bill Clinton (D)||46.11%|
|1996 Presidential Results|
|Bob Dole (R)||31.09%|
|Bill Clinton (D)||53.35%|
- Martha Abbott, Vermont's Safety Net
- Susan Bartlett for Governor
- Brian Dubie, Vermont Governor, 2010
- Matt Dunne for Vermont
- Vote Chris Ericson
- Dan Feliciano, Independent Candidate for Governor
- Deb Markowitz for Governor
- Ben Mitchell
- Vermont Forward with Em Peyton
- Doug Racine for Governor
- Peter Shumlin for Governor
- Dennis Steele for Vermont Governor
- ↑ The Vermont Statutes Online, "Constitution of the State of Vermont", July 9, 1793, accessed August 30, 2010
- ↑ Vermont Secretary of State, "2010 GENERAL ELECTION OFFICIAL RESULTS: Vote Totals and Mailing List for the Federal and Statewide Races, revised November 12, 2010", accessed November 15, 2010
- ↑ Burlington Free Press, "Shumlin administration brings job openings", November 22, 2010
- ↑ Burlington Free Press, "Shumlin makes four appointments to economic team", November 22, 2010
- ↑ Governing Magazine, "VT-Governor: Will the Legislature Make the Decision?", August 18, 2010
- ↑ Daily Kos, "Vermont and Oklahoma - the other races chime in", August 24, 2010
- ↑ Politico, "The 2010 Results Map: Vermont Gubernatorial", August 25, 2010
- ↑ Washington Post, "Primary results from the August 24 races", accessed August 25, 2010
- ↑ Associated Press, "Vermont County Vote Results: Dem Governor Primary", August 25, 2010
- ↑ Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, "Shumlin Wins Democratic Nomination in Vermont", August 27, 2010
- ↑ Burlington Free Press, "Shumlin wins; Racine calls for a recount", August 27, 2010
- ↑ Vermont Secretary of State, Elections Division, “August 24, 2010 Primary Election Results, Governor”, August 24, 2010
- ↑ The Cook Political, “Governors: Race Ratings”
- ↑ CQ Politics, “2010 Race Ratings: Governors”
- ↑ Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball', “2010 Governor Ratings”
- ↑ Rasmussen Reports', “Election 2010: Scorecard Ratings”
- ↑ Rothenberg Political Report, “Governor Ratings”
- ↑ CQ Politics, "Race Ratings Chart 2010: Governor"
- ↑ Rasmussen Reports, “Vermont Governor: Shumlin (D) Has The Edge on Dubie (R)”, October 30, 2010
- ↑ Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: Vermont Governor: Shumlin (D) 49%, Dubie (R) 46%”, September 15, 2010
- ↑ [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at www.RasmussenReports.com]
- ↑ Vermont Secretary of State - Elections and Campaign Finance “Final General Election Independent Candidate List, certified June 17, 2010
- ↑ Vermont Secretary of State - Elections and Campaign Finance “Final General Election Minor Party Nominations List, accessed September 20, 2010
- ↑ Vermont Secretary of State - Elections and Campaign Finance “2010 Candidate Information and Web Links , accessed September 20, 2010
- ↑ US Election Atlas, “2004 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Vermont”
- ↑ Vermont Office of the Secretary of State , “Detailed Results 2004 General Election For Governor”
- ↑ US Election Atlas, “2006 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Vermont”
- ↑ Vermont Office of the Secretary of State , “Detailed Results 2006 General Election For Governor”
- ↑ US Election Atlas, “2008 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Vermont”
- ↑ Vermont Office of the Secretary of State , “Detailed Results 2008 General Election For Governor”
- ↑ Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections', accessed July 28, 2010
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