Actually, Jeep man, Vermont voters seem to have elected him for who he is rather than for whatever meaningless capital letter appears after his name during TeeVee interviews. His popularity numbers have never been higher in Vermont than since he started to buck the Bush "Administration." They rightly don't give a damn about his political affiliation so long as they feel he represents them, which they obviously do.
But then again, this is the (so far only) state that has acknowledged same-sex unions, so I wouldn't count on any right-wing backlash in Vermont amounting to a hill of beans. But considering how the Republican power structure in D.C. is threatening to start gunning for Jeffords now, I do think this was a courageous decision. If I were a Vermonter, and even if I had voted against him last time, I'd sure as hell vote for him next time. Good man.
Oh, and I of course love the added benefit that this will finally result in South Dakota's own Tom Daschle (a fellow Dakota German-Russian, thank you very much) becoming Majority Leader. He deserves it.