Is The Recount A Blessing Or A Curse For The Democratic Party?

09/03/10 5:50PM By Bob Kinzel
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(Host) Will the recount in the Democratic gubernatorial primary help or hurt the Democrats' chances of winning the governor's office in November?

As VPR's Bob Kinzel reports, the question is drawing mixed reaction.

(Kinzel) Conventional wisdom seems to indicate that the recount isn't good for the Democrats but there are a growing number of people who feel that the Democrats can turn this negative situation into a positive development.

UVM political science professor Garrison Nelson is on one side of this debate. He says the recount is bad news for the Democrats and good news for Republican candidate Brian Dubie.

(Nelson) "This is the worst possible scenario that could have occurred and they're stuck with it... so Brian doesn't have to gear up for a debate for weeks now."

(Kinzel) Middlebury College political science professor emeritus Eric Davis says the delay caused by the recount puts the Democrats in a tough spot.

(Davis) "There are arguments to be made on both sides I would say that an important element of any campaign is messaging and communication and the question I would have is over the roughly two, two and a half weeks it may take top conduct this recount what is the Democratic message?"

(Kinzel) Speaking on VPR's Vermont Edition, political analyst Chris Graff says he originally thought the recount would hurt the Democrats.

But he says he's changed his mind after seeing the top Democratic candidates join together after the Primary.

(Graff ) "This was a hard fought race but it wasn't one where philosophy made a lot of difference. It was more about personality and style and we've ended up with the top 3 candidates being best buddies. Doug Racine, Peter Shumlin and Deb Markowitz are really working very well together - they're being very cooperative - and so I think that this actually could work out to be a plus for the Democrats."

(Kinzel) Racine says the Democrats are supporting Shumlin during the recount period and he believes the final outcome will be good for the Party.

(Racine) "I was at a find raiser for him the other night and we raised a significant amount of money in pledges for him, so I think as long as we both stay positive, stay focused on what this election is about - which is the difference between Peter Shumlin or myself on the one hand and Brian Dubie - then we can be sure that this turns out to be a positive."

(Kinzel) Former Governor Madeleine Kunin endorsed Deb Markowitz in the race. Kunin says the recount is a positive way to bring Democrats together.

(Kunin) "The Party will be united and there won't be the kind of fracturing that we sometimes see after primaries - nobody can say it wasn't fair, nobody can say whoever wins the recount didn't deserve it."

(Kinzel) The recount is scheduled to begin next Wednesday at County Courthouses across the state.

For VPR News, I'm Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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vote_recount democratic_primary politics elections
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