Doyle Poll: Shumlin popularity tracks downward along with gas tax

by Robert Maynard

The results of Senator Bill Doyle’s March 2013 Town Meeting Day Poll are now out and it looks like Governor Shumlin’s popularity is tracking downward along with the gas tax.  This year the poll received 13,998 responses from 163 different towns and cities from around Vermont.  The results were tabulated in this Burlington Free Press article: “Gov. Peter Shumlin’s approval rating is down, and it might have something to do with how people feel about his proposed increase in the gas tax, which they decidedly do not like.”

Here are the specifics:

Doyle suggested Shumlin’s drop in approval is a comedown from the good vibes for his response to the 2011 Tropical Storm Irene. Now, there is the reality of a higher proposed gas tax, Doyle noted.

Doyle said many people commented on their surveys that they are having a tough time paying the bills. “I’ve never seen so many making comments about making ends meet,” he said.

This year, Doyle reports:

  • 42 percent say they think second-term Democrat Shumlin is doing a good job, down from 46 percent last year, while 33 percent say he’s not and 25 percent couldn’t manage to pick yes or no.

The comments about making ends meet are particularly relevant to the increase in the gas tax.  Back on February 14th WCAX ran an article where Governor Shumlin defended his support for the gas tax.  That article was flooded with comments from readers unhappy with the idea.  Here is one example:

The gas is expensive enough without adding more tax to the cost. You people in Montpelier need to start spend money wisely before asking to raise taxes. It is getting harder and harder to live in this state being retired and on a fixed income.It is getting as bad as the federal government. The average person is having a tough time trying to make ends meet already.Wise up and do the right thing for the people of this state. Raising taxes on gas that people need to make a living is not the answer.You will probably want have so crackpot down there want to tax the air we breath next.

In March Vermonters First helped to highlight that oppositon with this ad:

Perhaps it is time to ask Governor Shumlin “can your hear us now?”  If he still can’t, then maybe he will on election day in 2014.