Literally only hours after Lt. Governor Phil Scott of Vermont won his GOP primary, the RGA began running an ad in support of his candidacy. It’s a sure sign the Republican Governors Association sees a pickup opportunity in one of the bluest states in the Union.
Phil Scott is the current lieutenant governor of Vermont and handedly won the GOP nomination to become Vermont’s next governor. The governor’s seat is being vacated by outgoing Democrat Peter Shumlin. Shumlin’s last election in 2014 was so close, he had to be re-elected via the legislature due to no candidate receiving a majority of votes at the polls. His tenure as governor endured several controversies, including a failed attempt at single-payer healthcare and overseeing tax-hikes that induced a net-migration out of the state.
Scott is seen as a pragmatic moderate who touts high approval ratings and has been working successfully with those across the aisle. His Democratic opponent, Sue Minter, is a former State Representative and Transportation Secretary. Their primary races witnessed heaps of out-of-state money pour in and record breaking turnout.
Despite Scott having the best resume possible for a Vermont Republican, he still faces high hurdles. The Democratic primary saw thousands of more participants and Roll Call rates the gubernatorial race as “Democrat Favored”. Obama won The Green Mountain state by nearly 70 percentage points in 2012.
Still, the RGA sees an opportunity for victory.