The lieutenant governor’s race is the one to watch this election season. And this weekend, both candidates hit the campaign trail. Or at least the campaign track.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott was in the middle of a race this weekend. Well, two races actually.
“For some of my competitors, they think being lieutenant governor is somewhat of an interesting hobby for a race car driver,” said Scott.
Scott had just completed a time trial to qualify for the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in Barre. It’s one of the biggest stock car races in Vermont.
It also happens to be a campaign stop for the Republican incumbent in his bid for re-election.
So far, it appears Scott is doing well in that race, too. A poll commissioned by WCAX showed Scott getting 58 percent of the vote.
The survey showed Dean Corren, the candidate on both the Democratic and Progressive ballots, getting 24 percent of the vote. Fifteen percent were undecided.
Corren is here on Scott’s home turf today to talk with voters and participate in the cow chip throwing contest.
He says the WCAX poll was taken before his campaign ads began running.
“That’s old data and things are definitely improving ever since then,” said Corren. “So we’re trying our best, working around the clock to make sure we get those numbers up as high as we can.”
Corren attributes the poll results in part to name recognition.
And here, Scott certainly has that. Scott is from Barre, and has been racing cars here for 25 years. Still, he wonders how many will come out and vote.
“My name recognition here is pretty widespread,” said Scott. “But not everyone votes that come to the races, which is unfortunate.”
Scott says there are parallels between his interest in racing, and his role as lieutenant governor.
“I’ve always raced, I believe, pretty clean. I try and treat people the way they treat me. It’s the same in politics,” said Scott. “I think there’s a way of going through the process and listening to others and respecting them, but getting your points across as well.”
Corren has said he knows Scott is likeable. But last week he went after Scott for his views on abortion.
Scott supports the idea of requiring minors to notify their parents before they can receive an abortion.
Corren says he’s impressed with Scott’s performance at the racetrack, if not at the statehouse.
“I enjoyed watching him race. I like the way he drives, very smooth. I think he does a good job at this,” said Corren. “And he should really focus on it.”
Both candidates have four more weeks to win over voters.