Vermont Primary Facts and Figures

Compiled by the U.S.News & World Report library staff.

By SHARE

Compiled by the U.S.News & World Report library staff

Presidential Primary Winners

Democrats

  • 1988: Jesse Jackson (caucus); Michael Dukakis (nonbinding primary)
  • 1992: Jerry Brown (caucus; no primary held)
  • 1996: Bill Clinton
  • 2000: Al Gore
  • 2004: Howard Dean

Republicans

  • 1988: George H. W. Bush (caucus and primary)
  • 1992: George H. W. Bush (caucus; no primary held)
  • 1996: Bob Dole
  • 2000: John McCain
  • 2004: George W. Bush

Sources:
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
New York Times
Vermont Secretary of State Elections and Campaign Finance Division

February 2008 Voter Registration Data

419,536 registered voters as of February 19

Source:
Vermont Secretary of State Elections and Campaign Finance Division

General Election Winners — 1988-2004

  • 1988: George H. W. Bush
  • 1992: Bill Clinton
  • 1996: Bill Clinton
  • 2000: Al Gore
  • 2004: John Kerry

Sources:
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
Vermont Secretary of State Elections and Campaign Finance Division

Exit Poll Demographics

2004 General Election

Sex

  • Male:  45%
  • Female:  55%

Race

  • White:  97%
  • African-American:  1%
  • Latino:  1%
  • Asian:  0%
  • Other:  1%

Age

  • 18-29:  15%
  • 30-44:  31%
  • 45-59:  32%
  • 60 and older:  22%

"Are you a white, conservative Protestant?"

  • Yes:  10%
  • No:  90%

Source: CNN

3 Things You Didn't Know About Vermont Primaries

1. Vermont held its first presidential primary in 1916, but low voter turnout prompted the state to abandon the system after 1920. Vermont's delegates were allocated by caucuses through 1992 (primary elections returned in 1976, but they were nonbinding). In 1996, Vermont switched to a binding primary system in an effort to join four other New England states in creating a regionwide "Yankee Primary."

2. Michael Dukakis won the Vermont Democratic primary by a large margin in 1988. However, the contest was nonbinding—delegates would actually be determined a month later, in the party's caucuses. In the intervening weeks, Jesse Jackson made a strong challenge, ultimately winning just enough of the local contests to put him ahead in the caucus tally. At one caucus meeting, tensions were so high that Jackson supporter and independent Bernie Sanders, then mayor of Burlington (and a current Vermont senator), was slapped in the face by a party member who had questioned his right to participate.

3. In 1998, farmer Fred Tuttle won the Republican primary for Senate. Tuttle had entered the race to draw publicity for a film in which he had starred, a political satire called Man With a Plan. (It was directed by his neighbor.) Tuttle went on to beat millionaire and recent Massachusetts transplant Jack McMullen for the nomination after quizzing him in a debate about his knowledge of Vermont geography and agriculture. Even after Tuttle dropped out of the race and endorsed his opponent, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, he still won 23 percent of the vote. Tuttle died in 2003.

Sources:
Associated Press
Boston Globe
New York Times
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Snelling Center for Government
Vermont Public Radio
Vermont State Archives