Voters' Voices

Stories focusing on how New Hampshire voters are navigating the 2016 presidential primary season, told in their own words.

Michael Brindley

In the weeks leading up to the election, NHPR reporters will travel throughout the state to talk with people on the ground about what’s shaping their votes.

NHPR’s Michael Brindley caught up last week with libertarian Steve O’Brien.

He’s 29 years old and was attending a campaign rally in Keene to hear from libertarian Bill Weld, presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s running mate.

Before last night’s GOP debate got underway the lawn of St. Anselm college filled with Republican supporters. They had signs and chants—but also mixed in the crowd of 500 or so people were protesters pushing for a $15 federal minimum wage. NHPR’s Natasha Haverty went into the crowd and captured these voices. 

    

Latino voters are expected to turn out in record numbers across the country this election year. For many, learning the basics of how to vote is the first step.


Paige Sutherland/NHPR

All this week, NHPR has been seeking out New Hampshire residents to talk politics, far from the presidential primary campaign trail. For our last installment, Paige Sutherland visited a Manchester gym to ask voters what's on their minds.

The Four Aces Diner on Lebanon's Bridge Street is a real old fashioned diner car: leather booths and linoleum counter, a blackboard of specials. But on this particular morning, the folks inside— not so up for talking politics.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

At seven in the morning the day after the Iowa caucus, Breakfast at Laney's in Somersworth is pretty quiet. The 6 AM crowd has moved out and the 9:30 "rush" is still rolling out of bed.

As a campaign stop, the diner has been similarly quiet: Only four candidates have visited Somersworth this election season -- Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Martin O'Malley -- and none have dropped by since November. 


Michael Brindley/NHPR

Sometimes it can seem like everyone’s talking about the primary, especially now that it’s a week away.

But history shows there are certain groups of people who aren’t as likely to head out to the polls on Tuesday.

One of those pockets of the population is low-income people.

Jack Rodolico

Around 6 am last Friday, the Mt. Pisgah Diner in Winchester was packed with regulars: people who come to share good food at a small counter. The diner's owner, Joni Otto, says no presidential candidate has ever graced her doorway.

But that doesn't mean politics is missing from the menu.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire voters head to the polls next week with plenty to think about. And many of them have been thinking, comparing, contrasting, deciding, and un-deciding on candidates for a while now. NHPR has been following up with a handful of voters through the campaign to hear how their final decisions have been shaped by a long primary season. Today we hear from three of them.


Natasha Haverty / NHPR

Primary elections have a tendency to push candidates to the political extreme—fire up the base and draw bright lines around the issues. But during the New Hampshire presidential primary, where political independents play a central role those tactics often mean the campaign rhetoric sometimes doesn’t line up with how voters actually think.

Here are a few voters feeling that disconnect on one issue: guns.


Natasha Haverty

In the 2016 presidential campaign, few issues have been as fiercely debated as immigration. Here in New Hampshire, the US Southern border thousands of miles away can feel like an abstraction. But a small and growing number of voters in New Hampshire take the immigration debate very personally: the state’s Latino community. And as that community grows, so does its resolve to find a political voice. 

NHPR/Michael Brindley

When a candidate comes to your town, there’s always a huddle of reporters with microphones and cameras. 

And we hear a lot from those candidates and their supporters at an event. 

But as we get closer to our First in the Nation Primary, here on Morning Edition we’re going to be those reporters with mics, talking with people at a town hall or a diner visit.  But you’re also going to hear us in the communities hosting the candidates, to find out what’s on voters’ minds. 

We start in Nashua at a town hall meeting for Marco Rubio at Nashua Community College.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Over a presidential campaign season that grows longer every four years, candidates have long counted on voters changing their minds before Primary Day. But we don’t often hear about how or why voters make up their minds in the first place. NHPR followed up with three voters to see how they are forming – and changing—their opinions over the course of the campaign.

Natasha Haverty

It’s on every presidential candidate’s checklist: make at least one swing through northern New Hampshire, deliver a stump speech, shake hands with residents of the quiet mountain towns. But what about the people who aren’t at those campaign events?