Vermont, first state to be called for Obama 0

Unsurprisingly, the tiny state of Vermont (population 600,000) was called for Barack Obama first. The votes have not all been counted but pundits are already calling it a mammoth blowout.

It should come as no suprise that Vermont went this direction. The state. arguably the most tolerant and liberal in the nation, has a self-identified socialist in the Senate, a vibrant third party with seats in the State House, and openly supports the impeachment of Bush.

The state is known for it independent streak. 80 years ago, President Calvin Coolidge, said of the Green Mountain State, “If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.”

There is also a curious gubernatorial race going on in the state. Incumbent Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican, is going to beat out a Democratic challenger, Gaye Symington (speaker of the Vermont House) and progressive Anthony Pollina, who is tied for Symington in second place, with about 24 percent of the vote, according to recent polls.

Interestingly, Douglas will win, but may not be re-elected right away. If he wins with less than 50 percent of the vote, the Legislature (which is dominated by Democrats) gets to choose the governor by secret ballot. I think they would likely choose Douglas, who will win with a double-digit lead, but I imagine the Douglas campaign is hoping they never have to find out.