Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Galbraith Dips A Toe Into Gubernatorial Waters...

Anthony Pollina's day just got a little worse... and Jim Douglas probably thinks he's got it made (although that false sense of security may be his undoing) as Peter Galbraith takes another step towards running for Governor.

Today Galbraith sent out an email touting his "Vermont Leadership Fund" which will support candidates at all levels, but presumably serves as the official "dipping of the toe" into gubernatorial waters. "Interesting," as Peter Freyne would say. You can check out the message and contribute at:

Maybe this guy CAN give Douglas a run for his money. At least he's got the guts not to be scared off by Douglas and/or Pollina (yet). The conventional wisdom that Douglas cruises in a 3-way race. But the conventional wisdom is wrong: Douglas has it much easier in a head-to-head race against Pollina.

Here's why:

For starters, there are a large percentage of old-guard Democrats who simply WILL NOT vote for a Progressive, regardless of how much courting goes on, and regardless of whether the Democratic leadership could convince someone from running to give him a free pass (which won't happen). In that case, Douglas either picks up those folks ("Douglas Democrats"?), or they take a pass on voting in that race. So, Douglas stands to win with anywhere from 55%-45% (best case for Pollina), or perhaps in a landslide somewhere around 65% or 70% to Pollina's 35% or 30%) (more likely).

Second, in a 3-way race, the Democrats will vote, and turnout will be high in a hotly contested presidential election year. So, it does provide the opening to keep Douglas with a plurality of the vote - either throwing it to the legislature and allowing the 3rd place candidate to make a public appeal to throw their votes to the 2nd place candidate), or at a minimum hampering him by denying him a mandate.

Lastly, might I suggest that if the Dems put forth aggressive energy and health plans this session and Douglas vetoes them, or if the economy continues to worsen, OR, any number of other X-factors come into play (suppose Galbraith outraises Douglas using his national/international connections - who knows?!), then perhaps, just perhaps, the Democrat finishes first. Not entirely outside the realm of possibility if all the stars align.

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