• Poll: Welch takes lead in U.S. House race
     | September 21,2006

    MONTPELIER — A new poll shows Democrat Peter Welch has established a small lead in the race to succeed Rep. Bernard Sanders, one of a few dozen contests that could help to determine control of Congress next year.

    The poll found that if the election were held now, Welch would get the vote of 45 percent and Martha Rainville, the Republican nominee, would get 39 percent. The poll said other candidates would get 2 percent of the vote and 14 percent of respondents were undecided.

    WCAX-TV commissioned the poll from Research 2000 of Rockville, Md.

    A total of 400 likely voters, chosen randomly based on their telephone numbers, were interviewed over the phone Monday and Tuesday. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

    That means that Welch, the incumbent president pro tem of the Vermont Senate, has a narrow lead over Rainville, who until recently was the commander of the Vermont National Guard.

    The poll said that Welch had a wider lead among women, 49 percent to 34 percent. But among men, he and Rainville were in a statistical dead heat, with Rainville polling 44 percent and Welch 41 percent.

    They are competing to replace Sanders, who is stepping down from the House to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Sen. James Jeffords.

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