Why So Many New Hampshire Voters Are Independent | NBC News Now

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/06/2019 06:06 AM

NBC News’ Alexa Liautaud sits with New Hampshire voters to understand why the state’s largest group of voters is unaffiliated. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful ...

Live free or die, it's a motto that new hampshire voters take to heart. I'M all over the place with my history. I feel like i'm right in the middle. A lot of people like me choose to remain unaffiliated. New hampshire holds the first presidential primary in the united states, but it can be notoriously hard to predict because the largest group of voters in the state isn't democrat or republican. It ...
voters who are registered but haven't declared a political party. New hampshire is unique because those undeclared voters can choose to vote in either primary and make that choice right up until election day. They make up 42 % of the electorate, but they're, not a monolith. Notall undeclared voters are alike. So we followed three to find out where they stand. Everybody assumes i'm a democrat great until they talk and they and - and i explain why i'm not a democrat lisa cote - is an environmental scientist and a volunteer at her community radio station. She cares deeply about things like clean water and environmental regulation.

You might think she'd be registered. As a democrat tell me about when you left the democratic party, but was the late 90s and i i felt very distant from what i saw as president clinton's coziness with wall street and that wasn't kind of the fdr democratic party that i grew up with. So when i had the opportunityto register to vote and i could choose, i chose to not affiliate with either party and i remember the registrar at that time saying: well, you young people, you don't commit to anything, and i said you know when the democrats start representing Me then i'll start representing them here in the state of new hampshire, we're looking at needing to spend something on the order of three to five billion dollars on drinking water and with storm water and wastewater infrastructure in the next 10 to 15 years. And that's not being discussed so when you think about the field of candidates, are you leaning more towards someone like a bernie sanders who has backed a policy proposallike the green new deal or who do you gravitate towards? I was a bernie volunteer in 2015. Hillary'S platform. Did appeal to me and i thought we were gon na, we were going to be stuck with the status quo. The way i like to explain it is, i drank the obama lemonade and i was still thirsty, like we didn't, make the movements during the obama years, particularly in the area of the environment. Then i would have liked to see - and here was a great opportunity to kind of use that momentum to go forward. I'Ve been following bernie since he was a representative in in washington. On the other hand, you know for me, i'm a politicaljunkie and it comes down to who can beat trump, while lisa leans left. She hasn't settled on which democrat to vote for, on the other hand, courtney gifford feels differently. She'S always voted republican, but isn't sure that today's republican party really represents her anymore.

I feel like i'm right in the middle. So when i started voting in oh nine, i has to have historically voted republican, but i feel like 2019 is so different from when i first started voting. It just blows my mind that in the 21st century, a woman's right to choose us even up for discussion. I think that there are so many more issues in this country that couldn't be talked aboutveterans being homeless, flint michigan not having clean water there's just. I just don't think that it's relevant women should have the right to choose what goes on in their bodies, and i don't i don't really like the fact that they use it as a political gain to get votes. Courtney is exactly the type of voter that some of the more moderate democratic candidates might be able to win over. I would say the one that i have been watching and really caught. My eye would be mayor, pete put a judge, i know he's young, but i feel like that's why i gravitated towards him. First, i feel like he's very accomplished for someone that's 37 ibelieve. He is, and i think that he just gets what the millennial in the gen z, what we're fighting for and there's a third type of undeclared voter. I came across one who's fed up with politics altogether. I'Ve become disgusted with the rancor in the system.

Now everybody both both sides, just hurling insults at each other, there's nothing positive, coming from either side that i can see - and i just didn't - want to be affiliated with anymore. This is russ blanchett he's an electronics technician he's also voted republican, his whole life. I voted for donald trump in the primary election. It was primarily as a protest vote thinking that he wouldn't have any traction to getout of new hampshire. It was jeb bush's year. The party kept telling us jeb, and i believed that so as a protest vote so but now he's good politics on mute. It'S the cumulative effect of all of the negativity for all of these years and you're still on twitter, though yeah i have the ability to mute and block and tune out all the stuff that i'm not interested in on twitter. Have you watched any of the impeachment hearings? Nothing, nothing! Zero haven't seen a single hearing. You should see my muted words list on twitter, muted, nunez, epstein biden, drunk impeachment and peach impeached everything else alive. A lot accuse might be the same, so youpotentially have zero news on impeachment. Yes, that's the idea, i'm exhausted by this process. I'Ve seen impeachment before that's not pretty.

I was very engaged in the news cycle for a very long time. It was. It was a lot. I would go online and go to the political news sites digest all the news of the day. In my new detail and my blood pressure was up, my health was down. It was an unhealthy thing for me, which is why i had to use the tools available for my own peace of mind for my own well-being, jake you're happier now yes, ross doesn't want to vote for trump again in 2020, but he's not sure there'sa democrat. He can get behind either. How do you see this field of democratic candidates? I don't see a strong contender. I don't see somebody who's got the presidential qualities to be a real leader. There'S not one person in the field that you think could be potentially presidential. I have respect for duval, patrick, but i'd need to see him in action more to make a decision on whether to support him or not. If there was a republican candidate that had some of those values that you are looking for, that wasn't trump, you would more likely vote for them than the current offerings in the democratic field.

I believe sammy's registered undeclared voters can wait tillthe very last minute to pick who they're voting for in new hampshire, which makes predictions difficult. Andrew smith, is the director of surveys at the university of new hampshire. He co-wrote a book on the new hampshire primary back in 2015. I caught up with him after the debate. I guess the way i would say is is to not think of it as a voting bloc, but to think of it as three voting blocks. The players that are really democrats, the undeclared that are really republicans and then the undeclared who aren't that interested in politics and probably won't vote in a primary there's, no reason to voters to make up their mind early, and i thinkthat's really the thing that distinguishes new Hampshire from any of the other ameri states or nomination contests anywhere, is that we have really high turnout, so turnout this year. My estimation is going to be 45 to 50 percent. Hillary clinton won new hampshire in 2016 by 0. 4 percent. That'S less than three thousand votes. It was the second closest state in the country, that's why, for both the primary and the general, these independent voters are gon na, be important again being an independent voter gives me the luxury of voting forth whenever i think it's the best candidate, regardless a party when Do you think you'll make that decision, probably not until almost voting day it may comedown to a coin toss? Do i vote or do i sit this one out? If you sit this primary out, if you sit the general out, this will be the first time. You'Ve sat out an election since you started even voting.

You'Ve, never done it before right, hey nbc news viewers, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch. The latest interviews show highlights, and digital exclusives thanks for watching.

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