More than 60 percent of Vermont voters would cast their ballots for U.S. Rep. Peter Welch in the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy if the election were held today, according to a poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Meanwhile, while Gov. Phil Scott has not yet announced whether he will run for re-election, half of Vermonters polled think that he deserves to serve a fourth term in Montpelier. The latest Green Mountain State Poll also found that Scott, a Republican, is more popular with Democrats and Independents than with voters in his own party. Some 57% of self-identified Democrats say Scott should run again, compared to 48% of Republicans.
Welch has a clear lead over former Republican U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan, who trails the frontrunner by a 62% to 27% margin. Nearly half of independents polled, 47%, support Welch while 73% of Republicans said they would vote for Nolan. Ten percent are undecided.
In the race to replace Welch in the U.S. House, State Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint leads Lt. Gov. Molly Gray by 7 percentage points, 28% to 21%. Just over 20 percent support State Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale.
The poll results suggest Nolan is relatively unknown to voters — 67% said they don’t know enough about her to vote for her. Among those who do know her, only 9% view her favorably, while 11% view her unfavorably and 12% have a neutral opinion of her.
In the House race, Balint leads despite having less name recognition than Gray, who is viewed unfavorably by 25% of those polled, according to the results; 23% view her favorably, while 27% said they don’t know enough about her to say.
Meanwhile, the Republican seeking her party’s nomination for Welch’s seat, businesswoman Marcia Horne, is unknown to a large majority of Vermonters — 87%. She trails Balint by 23 percentage points, Gray by 22 points, Hinsdale by 21 points and former Congressional Staffer Sianay Chase Clifford by 17 points.
While no Democrats have announced a run for governor, the poll asked respondents about several potential candidates. Attorney General T.J. Donovan is best known and popular: 38% view him favorably, 14% view him unfavorably, 22% have a neutral opinion of him, and 27% don’t know enough about him to say. Speaker of the Vermont House Jill Krowinski, former Vermont Lt. Gov. Doug Racine and nonprofit executive Brenda Siegel all lack the name recognition of Donovan, according to the results.
The Green Mountain State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, surveyed 646 people online between April 14 and April 18, 2022. The margin of is +/- 3.9 percent