Long considered the Gibraltar of the Senate, incumbent U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy's giant political edifice is beginning to show some structural cracks. Leahy, a liberal Democrat, has been a Vermont U.S. senator since January 1975.
Now a new poll, conducted last weekend by a trio of news organizations including WCAX-TV, shows a shift in Green Mountain State voters opinions about several national issues as well as how their Congressional delegation is handling them.
News pollsters asked Vermont voters the following questions:
• Do you approve or disapprove of the job Vermont's congressional delegation is doing? 45 percent approve, 44 percent disapprove.
• Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress handled health care? 33 percent approve, 62 percent disapprove.
• How concerned are you about the federal government's budget deficit? Very concerned: 43 percent. Concerned: 39 percent, Somewhat: 11 percent. Not concerned: remaining.
According to the Vermont news group polling results, voters are looking for common sense leadership. They are concerned about excess spending, upset by the healthcare debacle, and angry with "business as usual" in Washington.
Len Britton, a ninth-generation Vermonter and fiscal-conservative GOP candidate running against Leahy for the U.S. Senate in 2010, said he agreed with the polling results.
Britton said last week's poll results reflect his own discussions with Vermont voters during recent statewide, town hall-style public campaign meetings. Vermonters are unhappy with the state's Congressional delegation, according to Britton.