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The Voices Of New Hampshire Voters, As They Prepare To Head To Polls


We've talked a lot about this year's crowded field of White House contenders. Ahead of the New Hampshire's primary this week, many granite staters are not impressed with their options. New Hampshire Public Radio's Jack Rodolico drove down to the southwest corner of the state to talk politics in a blue-collar town.

JACK RODOLICO, BYLINE: All right, it's 6 o'clock in the morning. I'm outside of Mt. Pisgah Diner in Winchester. And I would bet that no presidential candidate has ever set foot in here.

JONI OTTO: OK, I am Joni Otto. I bought the diner when I got a divorce - got a divorce, married a diner. (Laughter) I tell everybody that. I think there's a lot of cynicism because we're lied to all the time (laughter). And that's what really bothers me with Trump's antics. And for me, that's not the face for my country, even if I were a Republican. And I'm not, I'm an independent. I wish there were some really huge issue that grabbed me that I felt passionate about and that I agreed with a candidate. You know, when I hear Hillary say things like people that go to work and work hard 40 hours a week should be able to have a decent existence. That's not happening anymore.

RODOLICO: Her message is not resonating with you, even though she's talking about something that is important to you?

OTTO: Yes because she doesn't say how she's going to do that.

PHIL SZCZYGIEL: My name is Phil Szczygiel, and I live out in Richmond, N.H. I'm a Republican. I'm in the automotive business; it's in the repair business. We need to get somebody in office that address the common man's concerns, not just the 1-percenters, as Bernie Sanders puts it. Oh, I'm sure that to - everybody, you know, likes what The Donald has to say. He speaks with, you know, the country's issues at heart, but he's a 1-perecenter, you know?

OTTO: I really wish that we would have a revolution of sorts - you know what I mean? - where everybody got together and just said enough of this, throw everybody out of Washington and start fresh. I'm not the only one that's frustrated, I'm sure. (Laughter) I don't know - Marcos.


My name's Mark Richard. I live in Winchester at this point in time, born on the coast, work for Stanley Elevator Company. Also, I have a horse ranch. I like my Second Amendment rights. I've always been a Democrat. Bernie - he's got a lot of good ideas, but I think it's going to cost the Americans a lot of money. I can go either way right now. I just want to hear somebody say what really needs to be addressed. It used to be your employer would take care of you. You would make him money, he would reinvest in you. That's gone now. Everything out there now is greed. And I look at my wife, works at the daycare - 9.15 an hour. It's kind of like, seriously? I don't have the answers. I wish I did because then I'd be running right now (laughter).

MARTIN: New Hampshire Public Radio's Jack Rodolico collected those voices in Winchester, N.H. New Hampshire's presidential primary is Tuesday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
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