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Obama, Sanders, Welch, Shumlin prevail in Vermont

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012

It was tough to find a Romney supporter in Montpelier, known as a Democratic stronghold in a Democratic state. Even Dexter Lefavour, a Republican candidate for the state Senate who held a sign advertising himself outside the polling place at Montpelier City Hall, said he had voted not for Romney, but for the Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson.

Johnson got his vote "because he respects the principles I believe in: personal freedom, liberty, smaller government, limiting military imperialism," Lefavour said.

Some voters said they were disappointed in Obama's first four years, but still saw him as far preferable to Romney.

"The biggest issue for me this election is keeping the barbarians out of government," said Tom Wies, a retired Montpelier lawyer who said he voted for Obama and Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Sanders, a former Burlington mayor and U.S. House member seeking his second six-year term in the Senate, frequently criticizes an America in which he says the rich get more while the rest get squeezed. Federal Election Commission reports show Sanders had amassed $6.8 million in campaign funds as of Sept. 30, versus less than $77,000 for Republican challenger John MacGovern.

Welch enjoyed a similar advantage over another Republican with little cash or name recognition, Mark Donka.

Donka had not met the $5,000 threshold for fundraising that would have required a campaign finance report on Sept. 30, while Welch had $1.3 million.

The gap was somewhat narrower — but still large — in the race for governor, reflecting a contest in which Shumlin was widely seen as leading, but in which Republican state Sen. Randy Brock said he was gaining ground.

Attorney General William Sorrell was favored to win an eighth two-year term over Republican challenger Jack McMullen and Progressive Ed Stanak. Secretary of State Jim Condos has both the Democratic and Republican nominations and was running with just minor party opposition.