- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

MERRIMACK, N.H. — Voters heading to the polls in New Hampshire on Tuesday said they don’t foresee a quick end to a Democratic presidential primary contest that didn’t see any winnowing after a botched Iowa caucus process.

“I think it’s going to take a few more primaries before we start weeding out a few more,” said Sandra Mayo, a retiree.

Ms. Mayo said she voted for Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who has been on the rise in recent polling but is likely one of at least a handful of Democratic candidates facing a make-or-break situation to put on a good showing in New Hampshire.

“I think she’s got the right ideas and she’s sending us in the right direction,” said Ms. Mayo, who was also weighing former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg as recently as Monday night.

Ms. Mayo was speaking on a drizzly morning outside of James Mastricola Upper Elementary School as she and other voters headed to the polls.

Ms. Mayo said she’s an independent and that candidates such as Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Buttigieg could get a boost from undeclared or unaffiliated voters, who can vote in either party’s primary Tuesday.

President Trump, meanwhile, who isn’t facing a competitive primary, gave GOP-leaning voters the go-ahead to pull the lever for the “weakest” Democrat at a Monday rally in Manchester.

Asked about the president’s suggestion, Ms. Mayo said: “It’s hard to put into words because I just came from Mass.”

“He’s just not presidential,” she said. “If Trump cuts my Social Security, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Laurinda Barr, who voted for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, likewise said she doesn’t see the contest for the nomination getting resolved quickly.

She cited Mr. Biden’s “experience” in her choice.

“And he’s learned some lessons,” she said.

Asked what she meant by that, Ms. Barr said: “He’s made some not-so-great decisions in his life. But haven’t we all? He’s turning the tide, though.”

John Nesbitt, a 58-year-old retiree, described the whole unsettled situation on the Democratic side as a “cluster F.”

Mr. Nesbitt said he was at Mr. Trump’s rally in Manchester Monday evening where the president gave his blessing for crossover voters to back who they think is the weakest Democrat, but that he didn’t want any part of the other side.

“I’m done — the whole pack of ‘em,” he said.

“Yeah, the whole Iowa thing — does it even have a clear winner out of that yet?” he said. “The analogy he used last night — they can’t even run a primary. They want to run a country? It’s like, come on.”

He said he’s been a registered Democrat his whole life but that he wrote in Mr. Trump’s name.

“I did vote for him in ‘16 because I did not like Hillary and I really like what he’s done,” he said.

“I actually wanted to switch before this primary. I actually had to have a Democrat ballot — I did a write-in. I put his name on there,” he said with a laugh. “I’m fed up with it. The party’s gone just completely berserk.”

Another woman, who said her first name was Debbie but declined to give her last name, said she voted for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii “basically to screw up the Democratic party.”

“But I do like Tulsi Gabbard,” she said. “She’s moderate. She isn’t divisive. She’s calm.”

She said she had “no idea” about the prospect of an extended Democratic primary contest.

“This whole thing is frustrating,” she said. “As an American citizen fighting for the Constitution and the rights of citizens and capitalism, I don’t know. The divisiveness and the hatred on both sides is just pitiful.”

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