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2006 United States Senate election in Vermont

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2006 United States Senate election in Vermont

← 2000 November 7, 2006 (2006-11-07) 2012 →
Bernie Sanders.jpg
Nominee Bernie Sanders Richard Tarrant
Party Independent Republican
Popular vote 171,638 84,924
Percentage 65.4% 32.3%

2006 United States Senate election in Vermont - Results by municipality.svg

U.S. senator before election

Jim Jeffords

Elected U.S. Senator

Bernie Sanders

The 2006 United States Senate election in Vermont was held November 7, 2006. Incumbent independent Senator Jim Jeffords decided to retire rather than seek reelection to a fourth term in office and Bernie Sanders was elected to succeed him.

Sanders represented Vermont's at-large House district as an independent, won the Democratic primary and then dropped out to run as an independent. Many Democratic politicians across the country endorsed him, and no Democrat was on the ballot. The state committee of the Vermont Democratic Party voted unanimously to endorse Sanders.[1]

Sanders won the seat with 65% of the vote. His win marked the first Republican loss for this seat in 152 years, ending the longest single-party Senate winning streak in history.[2]

Democratic primary





Sanders won the Democratic primary, but declined the nomination, leaving no Democratic nominee on the ballot. This victory ensured that no Democrat would appear on the general election ballot to split the vote with Sanders, an ally of the Democrats, who had been supported by leaders in the Democratic Party.[6]

Democratic primary results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bernie Sanders 35,954 94.15
Democratic Louis W. Thabault 585 1.53
Democratic Craig Hill 504 1.32
Democratic Larry Drown 403 1.05
Democratic Peter Moss 384 1.00
Democratic Write-ins 355 0.93
Total votes 38,186 100.0

Republican primary




Republican primary[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Richard Tarrant 22,008 61.84
Republican Greg Parke 10,479 29.44
Republican Cris Ericson 1,722 4.84
Republican Write-ins 1,382 3.88
Total votes 35,591 100.00

General election



In mid-August 2006, the campaign heated up considerably, with Tarrant fully engaged in heavy media advertising, most of which criticized Sanders' public stances. Tarrant ran several ads accusing Sanders of representing himself differently from his voting record in the House of Representatives, citing such examples as Sanders' votes against Amber Alert and against increased penalties for child pornography. Sanders responded with an ad stating that Tarrant's claims are "dishonest" and "distort my record" and presented what he viewed as more accurate explanations of his voting record.[11]


Since Sanders was allied with the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Democratic leadership successfully dissuaded any serious challengers from their party. Sanders was endorsed by prominent Democrats such as DNC Chairman and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. On February 13, 2005 Sanders received an endorsement from Democracy for America, the political action committee that was founded by Dean after he withdrew from the 2004 Presidential race.[12]


The election was the most expensive political campaign in Vermont history.[13]

Tarrant was a self-funded candidate, with 98% of all his campaign expenditures coming from personal sources. He spent $7,315,854 total.[14] Sanders' top contributors include the plaintiffs' law firm Baron & Budd; the International Union of Operating Engineers; the Laborers' International Union of North America; and the Communication Workers of America. Sanders raised $5,554,466 total.[15] In total, Tarrant and Sanders spent $13,771,060.[14] Tarrant spent $85 per vote, the largest cost per vote of any race in the country during 2006, while Sanders spent $34 per vote.[16]



Source Date Bernie
Sanders (I)
Tarrant (R)
Research 2000 November 1, 2005 64% 16%
Rasmussen January 5, 2006 70% 25%
Doyle Poll March 7, 2006 62% 26%
Research 2000 May 11, 2006 61% 24%
Rasmussen June 16, 2006 67% 29%
American Research Group July 27, 2006 56% 35%
Rasmussen August 3, 2006 62% 34%
American Research Group September 15, 2006 55% 40%
Research 2000 September 18–19, 2006 58% 33%
Research 2000 October 23–24, 2006 57% 36%
Results of the election by countyBernie Sanders: .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  50–59%   60–69%   70–79%
Results of the election by county
Bernie Sanders:


Official results from the Vermont United States Senate.[17]

2006 United States Senate election in Vermont
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Bernie Sanders 171,638 65.4% n/a
Republican Richard Tarrant 84,924 32.3% -33.2
Independent Cris Ericson 1,735 0.66% n/a
Green Craig Hill 1,536 0.59% n/a
Independent Peter D. Moss 1,518 0.58% n/a
Liberty Union Peter Diamondstone 801 0.31% -0.2
Write-in 267 0.10% 0
Total votes 262,419 100.0% n/a
Independent gain from Republican

Sanders won a majority of the votes in every county in the state, with 57% as his lowest county total. He has served as a U.S. Senator for Vermont since.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Democratic primary is far from ordinary (September 11, 2006). Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus.
  2. ^ The partisan history of every U.S. Senate seat, in 1 awesome chart. The Washington Post.
  3. ^ M.D. Drysdale, Primary Election Is Next Tuesday Archived July 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine (September 7, 2009). Herald.
  4. ^ Klein, Rick (July 13, 2006). "Party shuns Vermont Democrats in race: Seeks to clear way for independent in US Senate bid". Boston Globe.
  5. ^ Scott, Julia (April 25, 2005). "Dean stays in his chair". Salon. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  6. ^ Thursday, April 21, 2005, Bernard Sanders, 63, announces run for Vermont's U.S. Senate seat after Incumbent Independent Jim Jeffords announces his retirement.
  7. ^ "2006 U.S. Senate Democratic Primary". Vermont Secretary of State. 2006. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "Republicans face ideological choice in primary". The Burlington Free Press. September 5, 2006. p. 1. Archived from the original on August 19, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2020 – via
  9. ^ a b Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (April 21, 2005). "Jeffords to Leave the Senate, Setting Off Vermont Scramble". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  10. ^ "2006 U.S. Senate Republican Primary". Vermont Secretary of State. 2006. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  11. ^ "How Bernie Sanders Responds to Negative, Mudslinging Attack Ads: Check the Facts!". Youtube. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "DFA Backs Sanders and Welch". WCAX. February 13, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
  13. ^ Wilson Ring, Sanders, Welch win in Vermont races (November 8, 2006). Associated Press.
  14. ^ a b "Congressional Races - 2006 Vermont Senate". Center for Responsive Politics. February 2, 2007. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
  15. ^ "Vermont Senate: 2006 Race Profile - Top Contributors". Center for Responsive Politics. December 11, 2006. Archived from the original on December 14, 2006. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
  16. ^ Ottenhoff, Patrick (January 31, 2007). "What's the value of a vote". NBC News.
  17. ^ "Our Campaigns - VT US Senate Race - Nov 07, 2006". 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2015.

External links

Official campaign websites (Archived)
This page was last edited on 6 June 2021, at 19:27
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