by Guy Page
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Christina Nolan of Westford claimed on WVMT’s Morning Drive this week that Rep. Peter Welch votes with the Democratic majority position 100% of the time.
While this may sound like political candidate hyperbole, a Politics That Work overview of Welch’s voting record shows Nolan’s claim has a ring of truth. The left-of-center Congressional voting analysis organization gives him a 100% ranking on hot-button issues like LGBT rights, immigration, abortion, and gun control.
By contrast, Nolan looks like what she promises to be: Maine Sen. Susan Collins’ – style centrist willing to vote against her party leadership. The very trait that makes some Vermont conservatives skeptical of her and supportive of fellow Republican Senate hopeful Gerald Malloy may serve her well if she wins the GOP primary.
Both Nolan and Malloy are scheduled to appear at a GOP gathering in Manchester tonight. Support for the personable, experienced Malloy of Perkinsville is strong among some conservatives who frequently comment on Vermont Daily Chronicle news stories. A profile of Malloy appears in VDC today.
As for Welch – anyone with an hour or two to invest can learn plenty about his voting record. PoliticsThatWork.com allows the reader to click on issues of interest and read every yes/no vote on relevant bills, citing the date, content, and bill number. The graphic below is culled from the PTW file on Welch, last updated in November, 2019. Note: Welchs’ “across the aisle” approach is said to have been more prominent in his early days in Congress.
To read the entire Politics That Work file on Welch’s voting record, go to http://politicsthatwork.com/voting-record/Peter-Welch-412239.
Nolan’s appeal to the centrist, independent middle of Vermont general election voters seems to make some Welch supporters nervous. Progressive blogger John Walters of the Vermont Political Observer is already forecasting ‘game, set and match’ for Welch because he’s sitting on a $2.96 million warchest, while Nolan has raised a mere $157,000.
Big GOP donors aren’t ponying up to support Nolan means the Smart Money Knows she has no chance of winning, Walters claims. And because (Walters implies) campaigns are won by whoever raises the most money, Nolan’s campaign is DOA. It’s not even David vs. Goliath, it’s Bambi Vs. Godzilla – with Welch as the giant reptile.
Walters does not mention that those savvy GOP mega-donors Out in the Heartlands know she faces a primary. Might they just be waiting to see if she wins, rather than be accused of supporting a more liberal Republican over traditional conservative Gerald Malloy?
Walters also doesn’t mention the elephant in the room – that Democratic leadership under Joe Biden continues to crater in the polls. Warchest or no, Welch’s position with independent voters may grow weaker. If so, the Big Money on both sides will be showering Vermont with political spending this fall as they realize that bright blue Vermont has suddenly turned purple – and maybe with a reddish hue.
Categories: News Analysis