Vermont gubernatorial election, 2014

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Vermont Gubernatorial Election

Primary Date:
August 26, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

2014 Election Winner:
Peter Shumlin Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Peter Shumlin Democratic Party
Shumlin.jpg

Vermont State Executive Elections
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GovernorLt. GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General
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Current trifecta for Democrats
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State executive offices in Vermont
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The Vermont gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Peter Shumlin (D) first won election in 2010 and was running for re-election. He faced six other candidates in the general election including Republican candidate Scott Milne and Republican-turned-independent candidate Emily Peyton. Shumlin won re-election to a third two-year term.

The race between Shumlin and Milne took an intriguing turn on November 4, when neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote total. The state constitution required the Vermont State Legislature to select the next governor because no candidate earned a majority of the vote.[1] Shumlin was favored to receive the appointment as the legislature had not appointed a second-place finisher in a deadlocked race since 1853.[2] Learn more about past deadlocked elections in the race background section.

Milne considered pursuing a recount of all votes cast in the gubernatorial race but ultimately declined that option on November 12.[3] State law allows candidates to request recounts if the margin of victory is less than 2 percent.[4] Milne announced on December 8 that he would not concede the election, leading to a January 8, 2015, vote by state legislators to decide the election.[5] Former Gov. Jim Douglas (R) appealed to Milne not to pursue a legislative vote, claiming that he would lose the good will earned following the election.[4] Shumlin won the election following a 110-69 vote in the legislature to decide the election.[6]

Vermont is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[7][8][9]

Candidates

General election

Democratic Party Peter Shumlin - IncumbentGreen check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Scott Milne[10]
Independent Pete Diamondstone - Liberty Union Party candidate[10]
Libertarian Party Dan Feliciano - Libertarian Party[11]
Independent Emily Peyton[12]
Independent Bernard Peters
Independent Cris Ericson (Marijuana Party) - Paralegal and marijuana legalization activist[13]

Note: Emily Peyton was defeated in the Republican primary but filed for the general election as an independent. Cris Ericson also ran for a U.S. House seat in 2014.

Lost in primary

Democratic Party H. Brooke Paige[10] Note: Paige filed to run for both attorney general and governor.[14]
Republican Party Steve Berry[10]

Results

General election

Governor of Vermont, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Peter Shumlin Incumbent 46.4% 89,509
     Republican Scott Milne 45.1% 87,075
     Libertarian Dan Feliciano 4.4% 8,428
     Liberty Union Emily Peyton 1.6% 3,157
     Independent Pete Diamondstone 0.9% 1,673
     Independent Bernard Peters 0.7% 1,434
     Independent Cris Ericson 0.6% 1,089
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 722
Total Votes 193,087
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.

Primary election

Democratic primary

Vermont Gubernatorial Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Shumlin 77% 15,260
Brooke Paige 16.1% 3,199
Write-ins 6.9% 1,369
Total Votes 19,828
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.

Republican primary

Vermont Gubernatorial Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngScott Milne 71.7% 11,488
Write-ins 14.7% 2,358
Steve Berry 6.9% 1,106
Emily Peyton 6.6% 1,060
Total Votes 16,012
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.


Race background

History of deadlocked races

The Vermont State Constitution requires winning candidates in gubernatorial, lieutenant gubernatorial and treasurer elections to receive majorities in their respective races. If a gubernatorial election fails to meet this requirement, the Vermont State Legislature convenes the following January to select the next governor. Since 1789, there have been 23 gubernatorial elections that failed to meet the majority threshold including the 2014 election. The legislature selected the top vote recipients in 20 out of the past 23 deadlocked races and have not selected a second-place finisher as governor since 1853.[15]

Note: In the following table, a bolded name indicates a second-place finisher who was selected as governor by the legislature.

Vermont gubernatorial elections without majority winner, 1789-Present
Year First-place candidate  % of vote Second-place candidate  % of vote Margin Winner in legislative vote
1789 Thomas Chittenden 44.1 Moses Robinson 26 18.1 Moses Robinson
1813 Jonas Galusha 49.5 Martin Chittenden 48.7 0.8 Martin Chittenden
1814 Martin Chittenden 49.4 Jonas Galusha 49.3 0.1 Martin Chittenden
1830 Samuel C. Crafts 43.9 William A. Palmer 35.6 8.3 Samuel C. Crafts
1831 William A. Palmer 44 Heman Allen 37.5 6.5 William A. Palmer
1832 William A. Palmer 42.2 Samuel C. Crafts 37.7 4.5 William A. Palmer
1834 William A. Palmer 45.4 William C. Bradley 27.5 17.9 William A. Palmer
1835 William A. Palmer 46.4 William C. Bradley 37.9 8.5 No governor selected
1841 Charles Payne 48.7 Nathan Smilie 44.4 4.3 Charles Payne
1843 John Mattocks 48.7 Daniel Kellogg 43.8 4.9 John Mattocks
1845 William Slade 47.2 Daniel Kellogg 38.5 8.7 William Slade
1846 Horace Eaton 48.5 John Smith 36.7 11.8 Horace Eaton
1847 Horace Eaton 46.7 Paul Dillingham Jr. 38.7 8 Horace Eaton
1848 Carlos Coolidge 43.7 Oscar L. Shafter 29.6 14.1 Carlos Coolidge
1849 Carlos Coolidge 49.6 Horatio Needham 44 5.6 Carlos Coolidge
1852 Erastus Fairbanks 49.4 John S. Robinson 31 18.4 Erastus Fairbanks
1853 Erastus Fairbanks 43.9 John S. Robinson 38.3 5.6 John S. Robinson
1902 John G. McCullough 45.6 Percival W. Clement 40.3 5.3 John G. McCullough
1912 Allen M. Fletcher 40.5 Harland B. Howe 30.8 9.7 Allen M. Fletcher
1986 Madeleine M. Kunin 47 Peter Smith 38.2 9.2 Madeleine M. Kunin
2002 Jim Douglas 44.9 Doug Racine 42.4 2.5 Jim Douglas
2010 Peter Shumlin 49.5 Brian Dubie 47.7 1.8 Peter Shumlin
2014 Peter Shumlin 46.4 Scott Milne 45.1 1.3 Peter Shumlin

Polls

General election
Shumlin, Milne and Peyton

Governor of Vermont
Poll Peter Shumlin (D) Scott Milne (R)Emily Peyton (I)Other/Don't knowMargin of ErrorSample Size
The New York Times/CBS/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
46%29%11%14%+/-6328
The New York Times/CBS/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
47%35%2%15%+/-8329
AVERAGES 46.5% 32% 6.5% 14.5% +/-7 328.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Shumlin v. Milne

Governor of Vermont
Poll Peter Shumlin (D) Scott Milne (R)Other/Don't knowMargin of ErrorSample Size
YouGov
July 5-24, 2014
52%27%21%+/-0512
Rasmussen Reports
August 27-28, 2014
48%36%16%+/-4700
YouGov
August 18-September2, 2014
45%35%20%+/-6430
AVERAGES 48.33% 32.67% 19% +/-3.33 547.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.


Past elections

2012

Governor of Vermont General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Shumlin Incumbent 57.8% 170,749
     Republican Randy Brock 37.6% 110,940
     Independent Emily Peyton 2% 5,868
     United States Marijuana Cris Ericson 1.9% 5,583
     Liberty Union Dave Eagle 0.4% 1,303
     Independent Write-in 0.3% 969
Total Votes 295,412
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.


2010

Governor of Vermont, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Shumlin 49.5% 119,543
     Republican Brian E. Dubie 47.7% 115,212
     Independent Dennis Steele 0.8% 1,917
     United States Marijuana Cris Ericson 0.8% 1,819
     Independent Dan Feliciano 0.6% 1,341
     Independent Em Peyton 0.3% 684
     Liberty Union Ben Mitchell 0.2% 429
     Write-In Various 0.3% 660
Total Votes 241,605
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State

Voter turnout

Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 81,687,059 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 35.9 percent of the VEP.[16] By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.[17]

Quick facts

  • According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.[18]
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
  • The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Texas (28.3 percent), Tennessee (28.6 percent) and Indiana (28.8 percent).
  • Maine (58.5 percent), Wisconsin (56.5 percent) and Colorado (54.5 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
  • There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.[19]
Voter turnout rates, 2014
State Total votes counted  % voter eligible population Top statewide office up for election Size of lead (Raw votes) Size of lead (%)
Alabama 1,191,274 33.2 Governor 320,319 27.2
Alaska 285,431 54.4 Governor 4,004 1.6
Arizona 1,537,671 34.1 Governor 143,951 12.5
Arkansas 852,642 40.1 Governor 118,664 14
California 7,513,972 30.8 Governor 1,065,748 17.8
Colorado 2,080,071 54.5 Governor 50,395 2.4
Connecticut 1,096,509 42.5 Governor 26,603 2.5
Delaware 234,038 34.4 Attorney General 31,155 13.6
District of Columbia 177,176 35.8 Mayor 27,934 19
Florida 6,026,802 43.3 Governor 66,127 1.1
Georgia 2,596,947 38.5 Governor 202,685 8
Hawaii 369,554 36.5 Governor 45,323 12.4
Idaho 445,307 39.6 Governor 65,852 14.9
Illinois 3,680,417 40.9 Governor 171,900 4.9
Indiana 1,387,622 28.8 Secretary of State 234,978 17.8
Iowa 1,142,284 50.2 Governor 245,548 21.8
Kansas 887,023 43.4 Governor 33,052 3.9
Kentucky 1,435,868 44 U.S. Senate 222,096 15.5
Louisiana 1,472,039 43.8 U.S. Senate 16,401 1.1
Maine 616,996 58.5 Governor 29,820 4.9
Maryland 1,733,177 41.5 Governor 88,648 6.1
Massachusetts 2,186,789 44.6 Governor 40,361 1.9
Michigan 3,188,956 43.2 Governor 129,547 4.3
Minnesota 1,992,613 50.5 Governor 109,776 5.6
Mississippi 631,858 28.9 U.S. Senate 141,234 33
Missouri 1,426,303 31.8 Auditor 684,074 53.6
Montana 373,831 47.3 U.S. Senate 65,262 17.9
Nebraska 552,115 41.5 Governor 97,678 18.7
Nevada 547,349 29 Governor 255,793 46.7
New Hampshire 495,565 48.4 Governor 24,924 5.2
New Jersey 1,955,042 32.5 N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico 512,805 35.7 Governor 73,868 14.6
New York 3,930,310 29 Governor 476,252 13.4
North Carolina 2,939,767 41.2 U.S. Senate 48,511 1.7
North Dakota 255,128 45 U.S. House At-large seat 42,214 17.1
Ohio 3,149,876 36.2 Governor 933,235 30.9
Oklahoma 824,831 29.8 Governor 122,060 14.7
Oregon 1,541,782 53.5 Governor 59,029 4.5
Pennsylvania 3,495,866 36 Governor 339,261 9.8
Rhode Island 329,212 42.2 Governor 14,346 4.5
South Carolina 1,261,611 35.2 Governor 179,089 14.6
South Dakota 282,291 44.9 Governor 124,865 45.1
Tennessee 1,374,065 28.6 Governor 642,214 47.5
Texas 4,727,208 28.3 Governor 957,973 20.4
Utah 577,973 30.2 Attorney General 173,819 35.2
Vermont 193,087 38.8 Governor 2,095 1.1
Virginia 2,194,346 36.6 U.S. Senate 16,727 0.8
Washington 2,123,901 43.1 N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia 451,498 31.2 U.S. Senate 124,667 27.6
Wisconsin 2,410,314 56.5 Governor 137,607 5.7
Wyoming 168,390 39.3 Governor 52,703 33.6
United States 81,687,059 35.9

Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on December 16, 2014.

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
June 12, 2014 Filing deadline
August 26, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
November 11, 2014 Canvassing committees prepare certificates of election
January 8, 2015 State executives inaugurated

Recent news

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Vermont Gubernatorial Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Vermont Public Radio, "Live Blog: VPR's 2014 Election Coverage," November 5, 2014
  2. WPTZ, "Legislature to decide Vermont governor's race," November 5, 2014
  3. NECN, "Milne Won't Seek Recount in Vermont Governor's Race," November 12, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Vermont Public Radio, "Douglas To Milne: Don't Wage Legislative Campaign For Governor," November 10, 2014
  5. Portland Press Herald, "Vermont gubernatorial challenger won't concede," December 8, 2014
  6. Vermont Public Radio, "LIVE BLOG: Lawmakers Elect Shumlin to Third Term," January 8, 2015
  7. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  8. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  9. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Vermont Secretary of State, "Candidate Listing," accessed June 13, 2014
  11. VT Digger, "VERMONT LIBERTARIAN PARTY NOMINATES DAN FELICIANO FOR GOVERNOR," June 9, 2014
  12. Emily Peyton for Vermont Governor 2014, "About," accessed May 15, 2014
  13. IndyVT, "2014 VOTE for CRIS ERICSON for U.S. CONGRESS, and 2014 VOTE for CRIS ERICSON for GOVERNOR of VERMONT," March 11, 2013
  14. Vermont Secretary of State, "Primary Candidate Listing," accessed August 22, 2014
  15. Vermont Secretary of State, "General Election Results: Governor, 1789-2012," accessed November 13, 2014
  16. United States Elections Project, "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates," November 7, 2014
  17. TIME, "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low," November 10, 2014
  18. PBS, "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years," November 10, 2014
  19. U.S. News & World Report, "Midterm Turnout Down in 2014," November 5, 2014