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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Sanders safe?

Charlie Cook's Political Report out of Washington. D.C. is considered by political insiders the last word when it comes to divining the status of governor, House and Senate campaigns around the country.

If that's the case, then maybe Republican Rich Tarrant may want to rethink making many more big-check investments in his self-financed bid to beat independent Bernie Sanders in the Senate race.

Cook's latest report just moved the Sanders-Tarrant contest from the "likely Democrat(I)" column to the "solid Democrat(I)" column, meaning Cook believes its game over for Tarrant in Vermont.

You have to be a Cook subscriber to read his analysis, so I won't put in a link. But here's a peek at some of what Cook had to say about the Vermont race in his new report.

"Republican health care magnate Richard Tarrant has spent $6.1 million in an effort to win this open Senate seat, shattering just about every imaginable record for political spending in the state. Unfortunately, the most recent poll indicates that all that money has only earned Tarrant 33 percent of the vote."

"He he hasn't made any inroads against his opponent Rep. Bernie Sanders. Sanders, who has represented the state's At-Large congressional district since 1990 as an independent ... After 25 years in public office, the first nine as Mayor of Burlington, voters know Sanders pretty well. If his liberal voting record wouldn't play well in many states, it suits Vermont just fine. As such, voters here do not seem that open to Tarrant's criticisms of Sanders' record. They've heard it all before."

"If $6.1 million spent over the course of 12 months can't put Tarrant within striking distance, nothing can. This race moves to Solid Democrat (Independent). "

Then again, Cook hasn't been in Vermont and seen the forest of yellow-and-red Tarrant lawn (and other) signs that have popped up around the state.


--Sam Hemingway

"Finally, a personal note. I am in Vermont now for a week and I went to a lovely church supper yesterday. Who should walk in but Rich Tarrant, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, facing Bernie Sanders, who is officially an independent, but in practice a Democrat. Tarrant works the room, shaking hands with about 80 people and making small talk with all of them. I was one of the last. So I said to him: "You realize that everyone in this room except for the little kids who are serving and half a dozen cooks is from out of state?" He looked like somebody had just punched him in the stomach. Here is a guy from Vermont who doesn't know the state is overrun by leaf peepers from all over the country the first week of October? He also didn't realize that the supper had been organized by one of the local churches to be neighborly to the tourists and maybe make a little bit of money for the church (they charged $8.50 a head but members of the congregation donated the food). I guess Tarrant is not a member of the reality-based community."

Coppied directly from http://www.electoral-vote.com News section. I don't think Tarrant has a clue. They're only more noticable because Tyrrant's sign are larger and more attention grabbing (with those mcdonalds colors).
Tarrant should move out of this state and campaign in a state more feasibly friendly to high costs of trying to buy vote because it WILL NOT work in VT as long as i'm here.
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ha ha....rusty teeth is his nickname
Signs are not just put up on property. It's pretty obvious that if someone wants a large sign in their front yard; they have to ask for one.

Obvously they don't mind.
You have got to be an idiot to think that anyone's votes can be bought. Isn't Vermont independent? Money doesn't decide anything. Rich has run against a 16 year Congressional Incumbent. Everyone knows who Bernie is. They don't know how he votes though. And once again, the fault lies purely with the press. They have not covered Sanders the way they should have since 1981. (When he was elected Mayor)
This is just the wrong year for republicans like Tarrant and Rainville to make their first try for public office.

People very sincerely want a change in the one-party rule of Republicans. We've lost our system of checks-and-balances.
There isn't a right year for Tarrant in Vermont.

The guy is a sleeze. From the Fletcher Allen debacle to the awful TV ads, the guy is just a creep.

Most of Vermont knows his name, but we still don't know what he stand for.
Rich Tarrant may be trying to buy the election, but Sanders has bought the Vermont Democrats with his dollars from out of state PACS.Tarrant's ads may be sleazy, but Sanders was pretty slimy in his deal to keep a Democrat out of the race. Let's face it, neither of these guys is likely to win any clean campaigning awards.
I watched the debate last night, what an impressive candidate Rich Tarrant is! He wasn't chomping at the bit like Bernie Sanders. He wasn't shouting and head bobbing and waving his hands, he was dignified and articulate. I am impressed with his knowledge of business. Bernie Sanders didn't even answer 3 of the questions asked, he went off in the opposite direction. To tell you the truth, I don't really know what Bernie stands for after last night...but I do know what Rich Tarrant stands for. Concerning his tv ads, yes they are negative, but if he had not educated us with Bernie's record, we would still be voting for this 'familiar' name and getting the same results. I have lost my job after 28 years and I think that a re-training to help people like me would be an awesome idea. We will never go back to the 'lifetime' jobs, times have changed and we need to change with the times. My vote is for Rich!
No wonder Bernie didn't want to debate.
This debate won't change one vote.

It was entertaining ... but what did either one of them say that we hadn't heard before??
"This debate won't change one vote."

The blinding effects of partisan hatred on some people is really remarkable.
"Anon" -- answer the question. What did either man say that we had not heard them say before?

Nothing new came out.
If you don't think the relative demeanors of the two candidates moved some votes then you're insane.
Vermonters already KNOW what Bernie's demeanor is. They've seen him in action for 16+ years.

We KNOW what Richie's demeanor is because he's bombarded us with his image for the past 12+ months.
"They've seen him in action for 16+ years."

Not like last night. Yearrrrgh!
Well, Sanders flat-out lied about not taking corporate PAC money, and did in fact say he would take money from "bad news" people. He also made some ridiculous statement about not being able to match Rich's spending, when, in fact, he's been matching it very very closely right along this entire year. True, Bernie's lied about the corporate PAC money before, but not to as wide an audience, and not quite so outright. I think the dishonesty there will come back and bite him.
"What did either man say that we had not heard them say before?"

You honestly think that's the point? Everyone here sounds pretty well decided. The point of the debate is to grab people who are undecided. Which makes us all old news to both campaigns.
It was a good fight.
The point of the debate is to grab people who are undecided.

Even if 100% of the undecides vote for Tarrant, the dude still wouldn't break 40%.

And I'm not just talking smack. That's just simple mathamatics.
"And I'm not just talking smack. That's just simple mathamatics."

You spelled both "mathematics" and "taking" wrong.
sue me.
Actually, the word 'talking' is spelled 't-a-l-k-i-n-g' ... as I spelled it above. However, if it makes you superior to think otherwise, I won't let facts get in the way of your active fantasy life.
Yeah, I said "taking." "Taking smack," get it? Are all Bernie supporters this simple?
Not simple, simply coherent -- something that you aren't.
You're angry that the joke went over your head - I understand. It's OK.
I got the joke, and it actually made me laugh, so thanks.

Incidentally, I'm a Tarrant supporter. Weird.
Well, first of all, anyone with half a brain-wave knows old Sammy H. is a Bernie-lover, so let's get that outta the way pronto. Didn't notice till the Oct 8 debate though, that Sam my and Bernie are actually starting to LOOK like! Eyiee! Now, what I would have LOVED to hear was how old Bernie was going to say after he sprung out of his chair and ran toward Tarrant wagging his finger and saying "The problem with YOU PEOPLE is....." WOW! Do Vermonters really want this side-show freak roaming the halls of the Senate with their stamp of approval??????
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