1. Trump supporters still out in droves
The cold weather did not stop dozens of thousands of supporters from standing hours in line to show support for President Donald Trump on Monday evening. Although Trump is expected to win the Republican primaries easily, his rally was by far the largest one in the state ahead of New Hampshire's primary.
Marie Derigan from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire told Mishpacha: "I’m here because rallies are fun and this is the third rally I've been to. He’s changed the economy. It's very exciting, and it's uplifting, and it's a great experience overall. He'll beat the Democratic candidate. He has put a lot of positivity into the country. He helped the military, and he made us better than we were before.”
Audrey O'Toole came from Alton, New Hampshire. "I've never been to a political event, and I thought it'd be cool to go. And I really love Trump," she told Mishpacha. "I love that he took away the individual mandate on health care. My husband and I both work, and we can't afford healthcare because it's based on your income, so I don't like Obamacare. I like that Trump is trying to protect religious freedom, freedom of expression. And that he's a friend of Israel — putting the embassy where it belongs in Jerusalem.”
2. Biden supporters: "Don't believe the polls"
Joe Biden did not wait for the results, and in a surprise move decided to leave New Hampshire even before the vote was over, signaling his awareness that he is not going to be the winner here. He headed over to South Carolina, where he has a strong base of support.
"On Monday night, he addressed supporters in Manchester and tried to remain optimistic," Biden supporter William Shaheen told Mishpacha. "I've known Joe Biden for at least 20 years, maybe more. Everybody in the Senate and the House loves him. They can't say a bad word about him because he's a straight shooter."
Asked about Biden's situation in the polls, Shaheen said, "When I look at the polls, I don't worry. All I do is work because worrying and being concerned doesn't get a single vote. I work harder and get more people to the polls, and that's the only poll that's valuable — the one on people who vote in. There's still 30 percent of people in New Hampshire tonight that don't know who they're going to vote for. I just got on board a month ago, and since then, I've been working hard to get him where he is.”
Bruce Cohen, a New Hampshire state representative, told Mishpacha: "The event was great. A lot of support for Joe. We don't think the polls are right. We think he's got a lot of people like us supporting him. I am very surprised [from his situation in the polls]. I think because Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are from neighboring States [they are leading in polls]. I think it's just a geography problem, and Biden will surprise everybody. There's a lot of people who want to see Joe Biden, they just don't come out to rallies. I think he can beat Trump easily all over the United States.”
3. At the polling station
A small but steady stream of voters kept pouring into the polling station in Concord, New Hampshire.
Debbie Wilmer told Mishpacha that she came to vote for Trump in the Republican primaries. "I am with Trump 100 percent because he said what he's going to do, and he did it. Everybody else promised to give $200 a month," she said in reference to Democratic-hopeful Andrew Yang’s policy of basic universal income. "It can't be done," she said. "Trump's going to win in November because most of us are sick of the Democrats spending too much of our money on frivolous stuff like this impeachment garbage. It's many millions of our dollars that can be going elsewhere.”
Patrick O'Reilly told Mishpacha that he is going to vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic favorite in New Hampshire. "It's in my own economic best interest to vote for Bernie. I'm a working person, and people who are working in the United States are getting the short end of the stick right now. We need reform in so many different areas. The priorities need to be changed. It's a political revolution, and that's what he talks about — that new kind of politics. Trump kind of telegraphed that change, even though it wasn't the change that people wanted. But he definitely shook up the system because his election was something that surprised a lot of people."
4. "Amy will unite us with a centrist message."
At the end of the day, Biden finished fifth, an enormous disappointment for the former vice president, who hoped to recover from his recent loss in Iowa. Two other moderates, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar got a big share of his voters, and finished second and third, respectively. The atmosphere at Klobuchar's event in Concord on Tuesday night was festive. People were standing in front of TV screens and watching live updates on CNN.
Tom Murphy, a retired IT website manager from Goffstown, New Hampshire, told Mishpacha: "I think one of the reasons New Hampshire is relevant is that we can vet the candidates. Prior to this, it's been [based on] name recognition with Sanders and Biden and Warren [leading]. Amy has been able to present her case and it's been well received. I'm also an independent voter. If Bernie Sanders wins, Trump gets a second term because the Democrats will always win the blue coasts: California, New York, Massachusetts. That's what happened with Clinton," he continued. "She won the popular vote. She lost the electoral college. You can't ignore the middle part of the country. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota. You need to compete and win electoral votes in those places. If Clinton had done that, we'd have a different president. And what Amy brings to the table is she's in the middle. She rejects the far left and the far right and she's trying to unite us all to go forward with more of a centrist message."
5. Bernie, the new front-runner
But the big winner of the night was the progressive socialist Bernie Sanders, who is the new front-runner in the race.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders, arrives to speak to supporters at a primary night election rally in Manchester, NH, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Tanya Parker from Nashua was standing in line to watch Sanders speak: "I'm just amazingly hopeful and impressed by all of the young people who are becoming engaged and all of the people who’d given up on the process, and who have now decided to step back in because now there's something to work for and someone to lead them," she told Mishpacha.
Asked about the Klobuchar supporter who said that only a centrist could win in November, she said: "I don't believe that at all. I believe that you have to give people something to believe in. You have to show them how you can make a difference in their everyday lives and you have to have the credibility and the authenticity to carry it through. And I see that in Bernie. Even people who don't like him believe him, even people who don't like him say that he's trustworthy."
(Mishpacha Web Exclusive)
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