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Vermont: Battle for the Statehouse

Incumbent: Gov. Jim Douglas (R) is retiring

Democrat: State Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Peter Shumlin

Republican: Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie

2008 Presidential Result: Obama 67%; McCain 30%

55+ Population (2009 estimate): 28.3%

Overview: Cutting the state budget is the paramount issue in Vermont. Brian Dubie has pledged to implement the so-called Tiger Team recommendations of a task force put together by the outgoing governor, which calls for reductions in Medicaid payments, mental health services and housing, and school spending. Shumlin has suggested cutting the budget by 9 percent but has been vague about what he would cut. Polls have shown Shumlin with a slim and statistically insignificant lead.

50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.

Fun Fact: There are a handful of independents running in the race for governor. One, Dennis Steele, wants Vermont to secede from the United States. He doesn't say exactly how that would work, but given the state's proximity to Canada, maybe that's what he has in mind.

'Wild Card' Issue: The Vermont state troopers association endorsed Shumlin, the first time they've gone for a Democrat since former Gov. Howard Dean. This, despite the fact that Shumlin has called for cutting the cost of incarceration of prisoners in the state. Dubie has said that would let criminals out on the streets of Vermont.

Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future

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