Campaign 2014

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

After a closer-than-expected race for governor, it appears Gov. Peter Shumlin will serve another term in the state’s highest office. But the contest had a rather odd finish.

Most close political races end with a phone call and two speeches. The losing candidate calls the victor with humbled congratulations, then addresses reporters and supporters. The victor’s speech often follows.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Republicans have taken control of the U.S. Senate and now control both Houses of Congress, and this will have ramifications for Vermont’s two U.S. Senators.

Linda Fowler, professor emerita of government at Dartmouth College, said Sen. Patrick Leahy will lose his spot as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, because the majority party will pick the chair. Leahy will become ranking member on the committee.

Live in the noon hour, Vermont Edition covers the top races in the the state with interviews with politicians and reporters covering the stories.

Governor's race:

As we concluded the broadcast at 12:55, all precincts had reported results in the race between Democratic incumbent Peter Shumlin and Republican challenger Scott Milne. At the time the unofficial results of the top three vote-getters were:

Live Blog: VPR's 2014 Election Coverage

Nov 5, 2014
Angela Evancie / VPR

Voters across Vermont cast ballots Tuesday, and all but one major race has been called. It's still unclear who will hold the governor's office, though Gov. Peter Shumlin holds a small lead over Republican challenger Scott Milne.

3:13 p.m. Nov. 5 Gov. Peter Shumlin has declared victory for himself at a press conference in City Hall Park in Burlington. Shumlin said the results were "a disappointment" and said he would reflect on the message Vermonters sent in this election.

Here's how some of Vermont's local ballot initiatives turned out this election day.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Democrat Peter Welch has easily won a fifth term as Vermont's lone representative in the U.S. House, turning aside the second challenge in as many elections from Republican Mark Donka.

In 2012, Welch beat Donka,  a conservative Republican and Woodstock police officer, by amore than three-to-one margin.

As Republicans increased their ranks in Washington Tuesday night, Welch said the big challenge facing Congress would continue to be in finding common ground.

Republicans Gain Two Seats In Vermont Senate

Nov 5, 2014
Nina Keck / VPR

Vermont Republicans picked up at least two senate seats in Tuesday’s election.

Republicans picked up another senate seat in Rutland County and now control all three seats there. In Franklin County, Republican Dustin Degree claimed the seat left vacant by the retirement of Democrat Don Collins.

Rutland County Senator Kevin Mullin handily won reelection along with fellow incumbent Peg Flory and a newcomer, Republican Brian Collamore.

Speaking at a celebration event in Rutland last night, Mullin said he’s excited about the gains the GOP is making in Vermont this year.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

St. Johnsbury voters made a clean sweep last night, replacing two Democratic incumbents with two Republican newcomers to the Vermont House of Representatives. Bob South received the fewest votes, 759, in the close four-way race. With 803 votes, Michelle Fay came a little closer to victory, but lost her seat after one term in Montpelier.

“It’s disappointing, clearly, I think I’ve worked really hard but you know I congratulate the two winners, they ran strong campaigns and they did what they had to do to get the votes out,” Fay said soon after votes were tallied.

Sage Van Wing / VPR File

Incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott cruised to victory for a third term in office. Scott defeated the Progressive and Democratic candidate Dean Corren by more than a 25 percent margin.

Scott says the key message from the election is that lawmakers understand that the state faces “an affordability” crisis.

The contest showed big differences between Scott and Corren on many key issues.

Angela Evancie / VPR

An unexpected nail biter in the race for Vermont governor kept the candidates and their supporters up late Tuesday night. And while Gov. Peter Shumlin is well-positioned to win a third term in office, the race is still too close to call.

It was close to midnight before the Democratic incumbent took to the elevated stage set up inside the Hilton Hotel ballroom. And when he finally got there, Shumlin wasn’t even able to deliver the victory speech his Democratic supporters had come for.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Dean Corren’s campaign sent out a text message blast this morning reminding people to vote, and not-so-subtly reminding them to vote for Corren.

“VOTE TODAY by 7 PM!” the message read. “Dean Corren for Lt. Gov. means jobs, healthcare and the environment. He’s endorsed by Leahy, Sanders, Welch and Shumlin.”

But instead of going out to a list of supporters who had opted in to receive text messages, the text blast went out to an unspecified list that included some phone numbers of people who had not opted in.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

For the past 40 years, three Vermont "mirror towns" have been accurate reflections of the statewide outcome of nearly gubernatorial election.

Overwhelmingly, the candidate that wins in Jericho, Bethel and Randolph on election day ends up in the governor’s office a few months later. At least two of the three towns have followed this rule in 19 of the 20 elections since 1974. In one election – 1984 – Madeleine Kunin won the statewide race by 1.5 percentage points and all three towns voted against Kunin by at least 3 percentage points.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Attention, voters from New Hampshire — and over 30 other states. If you go to the polls this election, take a selfie of yourself and your marked ballot, and share it with others (for example, on Twitter or Facebook) you could be fined $1,000.

Tuesday is Election Day. But in Vermont, people have already been voting for over a month, and we're considering whether that early voting has resulted in any changes to the traditional day of voting. Bert Johnson, associate professor of Political Science at Middlebury College, says that new research shows that early voting actually diminished turnout by a few percentage points. That’s based on a paper published earlier this year by researchers at the University of Wisconsin.  

With just days to go before Election Day, Republican House and Senate candidates remain focused on an economic message in the hope they can snatch a handful of seats from Democrats.

“I’m thinking Franklin, Washington and Rutland (counties). I think those are the strong spots,” said Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning, R-Caledonia. “We have a sleeper candidate in Orange. He may surprise some people.”

The GOP stands a smaller chance of grabbing a seat in Chittenden County, where Republican challenger Joy Limoge faces the “toughest uphill battle of the bunch,” Benning said.

VPR/Steve Zind

For the first time in a number of years, there’s a competitive race for Orange County’s lone Vermont Senate seat.

With Election Day around the corner, candidates for political office are spending their final days on the campaign trail stumping for votes. And the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor are doing everything they can to rally their base.

Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon has joined his counterpart at Stanford University in apologizing to the state of Montana for a questionable election-season research experiment polling voters in New Hampshire, California and Montana.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

Next Tuesday voters will go the polls to elect statewide and legislative candidates. Friday on Vermont Edition, we preview Election Day in a roundtable discussion with some of the state's best political reporters.

We look at the people and issues in Campaign 2014, with a special focus on the governor's race between Democratic incumbent Peter Shumlin and Republican challenger Scott Milne, and the lieutenant governor's race between incumbent Republican Phil Scott and Progressive challenger Dean Corren.

In Washington County, six candidates are competing for three of the 30 Senate seats. The challengers face an uphill battle in their bid to knock off the incumbents. And tax fairness and government spending have emerged as key issues in the race.

Voters in Washington County tend not to dispatch with their incumbent state senators. It’s been 22 years since a challenger pulled off the feat. And that’s quite a run for a three-seat district where officeholders stand for reelection every two years.

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