Leahy has not formally endorsed Gray, though he has donated to her cause and said he voted for her. 그의 부인, Marcelle Leahy, endorsed Gray, who also has the support of moderate former Vermont Govs. Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin.
Welch, who won the seat in 2006 when it last came open, has largely steered clear of the primary except to praise the women on the ballot. He won reelection in 2020 이상 67% 투표의.
Balint and Gray have raised similar amounts of cash over the course of the race, but Balint has benefited from significant outside spending — which Gray’s campaign has repeatedly criticized. The LGBTQ Victory Fund’s PAC has been the biggest player, backing Balant, who is gay, and investing about $ 1 million on her behalf. The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ campaign arm has also spent nearly $ 200,000 for Balint.
Rich Clark, a professor at Castleton University and Vermont pollster, said that with so little separating the candidates on policy, branding has become a more influential element in the race.
“I don’t think this is an issues race,” Clark said, a factor that has added more weight to endorsements and the “progressive versus moderate impression” among voters.
Though Gray and Balint are, 과연, closely aligned on almost every major issue, Balint has emerged as the progressive standard-bearer, winning support from Sanders and both senators from neighboring Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. 워싱턴 대표. 프라 밀라 자야 팔, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is also backing Balint, along with other leading national figures on the left.
“When it comes down to policy, there’s not a lot of space between them, but when it comes down to image, I think there is,” Clark said. “High turnout for us has been about 25% (in primary elections), so we’re not talking about a real representation of the Democratic Party in Vermont. It’ll be the most engaged and they’ll tend to be on the progressive side.”
Balint has outflanked Gray on the left with her clear support for stripping qualified immunity from police, which protects officers from most private lawsuits. Gray has been noncommittal, suggesting in a recent debate that she might support such a move should it extend to a wider swath of public officials.
But even as they sought to carve out distinctions in their views on policing and drug policy, it was a remark by Balint in May, during a forum with members of the Vermont Progressive Party, that provided the debate’s sharpest exchange.
Balint, at a gathering with VPP members this spring, said it would “be an absolute catastrophe if the candidate representing us on the left was Molly Gray,” whom she labeled a “corporatist Democrat.”
토론 중, Gray jabbed Balint over “negative attacks” and said that while Balint subsequently backed off the comment, “There’s never been a personal apology.”
“You can take the opportunity tonight if you want,” 그레이 말했다.
“If you took offense to that comment, 사과한다,” 그녀가 말했다. “If you found it hurtful, I apologize.”