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Eric Davis: Phil Scott's vulnerability: 'Where's the beef'

Posted on November 25, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



With the election for Vermont’s next governor less than a year away, I now believe that both the Democratic and the Republican gubernatorial primaries in August will be competitive. I had always thought that the Democratic primary would be a close election. However, I now see the Republican primary between Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Bruce Lisman to be a competitive race as well.

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Eric Davis: Sanders campaign at crossroads

Posted on November 12, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



The Democratic presidential debate this Saturday evening comes at a critical time for the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders needs a strong showing in order to close the gap with Hillary Clinton nationally, and to solidify his position in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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Eric Davis: Act 46 looming as election issue

Posted on October 29, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



Act 46, the school consolidation bill passed by the Legislature earlier this year, will be a major issue in 2016, both in local elections on establishing new consolidated school districts and in the statewide race for governor.

The act provides property tax reduction incentives to newly consolidated districts that receive voter approval by July 1, 2016. While some incentives will be available to districts that consolidate after that date, the prospect of a 10-cent reduction in property taxes is leading several districts to accelerate planning for consolidation votes.

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Eric Davis: Attorney general candidates given food for thought

Posted on October 15, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



The last competitive open-seat election for Vermont attorney general was in 1984. Jeffrey Amestoy was elected attorney general that year, and served until 1997, when Gov. Howard Dean nominated him to be Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court. Dean appointed William Sorrell to succeed Amestoy as attorney general. Sorrell has been re-elected every two years since 1998. He announced recently that he would not seek another term next year.

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Eric Davis: Progressives must weigh their votes carefully

Posted on October 1, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, the chair of the Vermont Progressive Party, has said the Progressives will likely run a candidate for governor in 2016, after having sat out the gubernatorial campaigns in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Mulvaney-Stanak said that Progressive Party activists do not trust that a Democratic governor would be a strong advocate for their policy positions.

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Eric Davis: Analytics are vital in sports and politics

Posted on September 17, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



Most televised sports broadcasts feature advertisements for Fan Duel and Draft Kings, online sites offering daily and weekly fantasy games in football, baseball and other sports. Fantasy sports sites are exempt from prohibitions on online gambling. Federal law treats them as games of skill, not games of chance.

Sports columnists who have written about online fantasy sports say the skills needed to win are not those of everyday fans, but advanced analytics and algorithms — skills taught to MBA students, and to Ph.D. students in economics and mathematics.

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Eric Davis: Lisman as candidate muddies GOP picture

Posted on September 3, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



I have recently written several columns arguing that 2016 could be a good year for Vermont Republicans. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott could be a strong candidate for governor, and Republicans could continue making gains in the Legislature, especially the House.

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Eric Davis: GOP could deny Democrats a majority

Posted on August 20, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



The 2016 elections for the Vermont House of Representatives will be one of the most interesting parts of next year’s political cycle.

In 2014, Vermont Democrats lost 12 House seats, going from 98 seats before the election to 86 seats in the current Legislature. They also lost the so-called super-majority in the House, the two-thirds majority they had held along with Progressives. However, Democrats still hold a comfortable overall majority, with 10 seats more than the 76 needed to control the 150-member chamber.

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Eric Davis: Vermont economy is 'mixed at best'

Posted on August 5, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



Tom Kavet, the economist who forecasts state tax revenues for the Legislature, presented his semi-annual report on the Vermont economy last week.

Kavet noted that the unemployment rate in Vermont — 3.6 percent in June — continues to be one of the lowest in the country. Job growth in the state has picked up a bit: 1.7 percent over the past 12 months compared with 0.7 percent the previous year.

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Eric Davis: Democrats have opportunity, challenges

Posted on July 23, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



Gov. Shumlin’s decision not to seek re-election next year has accelerated the timetable for Vermont’s 2016 election cycle. Prospective Democratic candidates for governor are expected to announce their intentions within the next few months, rather than wait until 2016.

At this time, the strongest potential Democratic candidates would be, in alphabetical order, Matt Dunne, Sue Minter and Shap Smith. Each of them would bring assets to the campaign, and each would also need to address weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

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