Saturday, October 15, 2016

Talking to New Hampshire Voters

Trump Heartland

Today I spent walking around Hampton, New Hampshire with a clipboard on which the local Democrats had pasted a list of voters who were either Democrats or Republicans who had voted Democratic in the past or Independents. My guide was a woman who has lived in Hampton for 16 years and she seemed to know not just everyone in every house, but who had built the house, who had lived in that house, what had happened to the children who were raised there and whether or not the house was on well water. 

Most of the people we talked to were Democrats and we were simply encouraging them to vote November 8, but we ran into one man who said he's been a Democrat all his life, was a Teamster, worked for the same company for 22 years and then they closed down, cut off the pension he thought he'd earned and he thought building a wall was a good idea because they're coming in and taking our jobs and he might just vote for Donald Trump.  He then added, "Of course he might start World War III."
My companion went to work on him, in her non confrontational way, and by the time we left he seemed to be nodding in agreement that World War III and thermonuclear holocaust might not be a good plan.

What struck me is this was a solid union man, a guy living in a one level, very modest house, blue collar, who felt alienated from the Democratic Party he had grown up with--he felt betrayed.

Another man said he was not inclined to vote for Maggie Hassan for U.S.Senate because she had made an issue of combating the heroin epidemic and he thought that was throwing good money after bad and we should just let those addicts die. There's no curing them.
No longer Republican

He lived in a McMansion, as did most of the Democrats we visited today. The Democratic Party is no longer the party of the working man, far as I could see today. It is the party of the professional, the college educated.

Trump may like her; feeling not mutual 

We met a slim lady in a fitted leather jacket and tight jeans and chic haircut in front of her stunning home, set in the woods, and she was horrified at the thought of a Trump presidency.  Twenty years ago she would have had Republican written all over her. 

It felt like that New Yorker cartoon of a crowd of well dressed middle aged people in pearls and suits and ties out in a field under the banner, "Woodstock Reunion."  

The resentment among the losers in the economic struggle is driving the Trump wagon.

The question is: How many of them are there?
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