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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Why Some NH Voters Liked Trump

Some instructive excerpts from “These New Hampshire voters don’t love everything Trump says. But here’s why they’re planning to back him” by John King at CNN Politics:

“Portsmouth, New Hampshire CNN — Andrew Konchek has a long list of complaints about Donald Trump. But there’s one reason he is ready, again, to set all those worrisome things aside…..“I’m with Trump because he supports fishermen, you know, and obviously it’s my livelihood,” Konchek said in an interview at the Portsmouth pier….Konchek says politicians and regulators repeatedly ignore suggestions from those who work on the water about how to protect the climate and the fish stock in a way that also allows working class fishermen like him to make enough to get by….Trump opposes planned green energy wind farms off the coast that Konchek believes would destroy the historic fishery just off the jagged coastline where New Hampshire and Maine meet….While in Portsmouth last week, Trump also said he would on his first day back in office get rid of the government observers who are on board every trip to make sure fishermen honor quotas and other rules….“Trump does not support the Green New Deal or the wind farms and I know that he backs us fisherman,” Konchek said….Konchek sees a vote for Trump as a vote to save his job….“I don’t like the way that he speaks sometimes. He can be a little ignorant and rude.”….“He’s kind of a bully,” Konchek said….“But you think he fights for you?” we ask….“I do. Yep.”….So Trump gets his vote Tuesday.”

Ditto for Debbie Katsanos….”She is an accountant, voted for Bill Clinton twice, backed Trump beginning in 2016 and, like many voters we meet, is past her boiling point with Washington and politicians…..“At first I didn’t like him and thought he was a big blowhard,” she said. “But then I started listening. … He talked like, he talked like me. I felt I could carry on a conversation with him.”….Not that she agrees with everything Trump might say in that conversation….“I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid,” Katsanos said. “He could tell me the moon is made out of cheese. I’m not going to believe that, you know.”….So who won the 2020 election?….“Oh, Biden,” Katsanos said….Her bottom line on Trump: “Sometimes he just doesn’t know when to shut up.”….But he will get her vote Tuesday because of her bottom line on what she wants most from Washington….“Close the border and get this economy moving again” is her list. “He’s got faults,” she says of the former president. “He’s not a saint. He doesn’t walk on water. I think he relates to people. He’s relatable.”

“Deven McIver will cast his primary ballot in Thornton – population 2,809….“I’m going to for Trump,” he told us during a break from his work at a quarry preparing giant slabs of stone to be crushed into construction gravel….It is mostly Trump country up here, though McIver, 46, says he voted for Barack Obama in 2008….“I said, ‘Oh, we’re going to have all this change and stuff,’” McIver said….But he skipped the 2012 election because he was disappointed by Obama and didn’t like Republican Mitt Romney. Then in 2016, he was excited enough by Trump to vote in the primary….“Because he wasn’t a politician,” McIver said. “So I thought this will be interesting.”….“Pretty good,” is McIver’s grade for Trump’s term as president. He was especially troubled, though, by “a lot of people coming and going” in top White House and agency jobs….“I don’t pay attention to it,” is his answer when asked about the caustic Trump social media posts and attacks he dishes out at his rallies. “I’m more busy getting up, getting ready to go in the morning.”….McIver doesn’t see himself as qualified to assess whether all the legal cases against Trump are legitimate….But while Trump, who has pleaded not guilty in all those cases, rails against prosecutors and judges and anyone he sees as a threat, and his MAGA supporters blame anyone but Trump, McIver takes a calm wait-and-see approach….“He has to go through a process for that,” he said. “And how it turns out is how it turns out.”….“If he’s convicted on it, then he goes to jail,” McIver said. “I guess he won’t be president.”….“Sometimes he’s not his own best friend,” he said. “He’s different. … It’s a show.”….McIver makes $40,000 a year, enjoys the work and is grateful his commute is just a few miles so he has more time with his family….It is a paycheck-to-paycheck life and inflation is especially tough on those with little to no margin in the family budget….“With Trump, I was doing pretty good. I was able to save more,” McIver said. “Right now, it is harder. … Your groceries are expensive and the cost of everything you purchase is expensive.”….“I know what I’m going to get,” McIver said. “I know he will fix the border and work on the economy.”….But he makes clear he is “just a regular Republican.”….“I don’t stand on the side of the the road with a flag every Saturday.”

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