For many politicians, the results of the first primary state can either break or make their campaign, which is why every four years the state of New Hampshire becomes the center of American politics.
Voters across the country have poured into the small state of New Hampshire to hear former President Donald Trump, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Marianne Williamson, and Rep. Dean Phillips.
Throughout the various events these candidates organized leading up to the New Hampshire primary election, many voters made their concerns loud and clear.
One couple, Steve and Colleen drove two and a half hours from Fairfield County, Conn., to see Haley speak at a meet and greet held in Keene, N.H.
“This is the last chance to have somebody other than Trump as the nominee,” Steve said.
During the interview, Steve said that in the previous election, he had voted for Donald Trump but this time he is taking his vote elsewhere.
“He’s just a mean person is what it comes down to for me,” Steve said when describing Donald Trump.
When asked what they believe to be the biggest issue America is currently encountering they firmly state the economy.
“We have a sixteen-year-old and we’re looking at his future and just realizing that people in his generation don’t have the same opportunities that I had, that Colleen had,” Steve said.
During the Haley rally held in Keene, N.H., she was introduced by the former Republican Mayor of Keene, George Hansel, who has endorsed Haley. Throughout the event, Haley addressed concerns including immigration, the economy, and Social Security.
When asked what makes Haley different from the rest of the candidates, Hansel said that he previously had the opportunity to meet all the Republican candidates and Haley specifically made an effort to get to know the people in his town.
“She really went out of her way to listen to the concerns and meet the people of New Hampshire and hear them unpromoted. I was really impressed by that,” Hansel said.
During the interview, Hansel also expressed what he believes to be one of the biggest issues America is currently facing.
“We have national security threats abroad,” Hansel said. “I think we need someone who’s working every single day. To work on the security of American citizens, the prosperities of American citizens, and…their future,” Hansel said.
On that same day, former President Donald Trump held a rally in Manchester, N.H., where mass amounts of supporters poured into the Southern New Hampshire University Arena to see the former president speak. The below-freezing weather was not a deterrent for his supporters.
Throughout the event, former President Donald Trump addressed various concerns that resonated with his supporters. These included immigration, inflation, Social Security, oil, sales tax, and the Ukraine-Russia war. Almost everything that Trump said was followed by cheers and excitement from his supporters, specifically when he attacked his current political opponents.
Throughout the event, many Trump supporters felt free to share their concerns regarding the current state of the country.
Steve from Lancaster, N.H., believes there should be more control over who is coming into the country.
“I’m not saying all the people coming across the border are bad people. I just think we need to know who’s coming in. And they have to come in legally. I’m not against immigration at all” Steve said.
Luke, a Trump supporter from Massachusetts addressed his views regarding the current state of the economy.
“Our bills have gone [up] outrageously. We both make pretty good money and we’re starting to struggle at this point,” Luke said.
Overall, a majority of Trump supporters viewed immigration and the economy as the major issues America is currently encountering.
On Sunday, Marianne Williamson held a meet and greet at Soel Sistas LLC in Nashua, N.H. During this event, she addressed topics including universal health care, immigration, poverty, the Ukraine-Russia war, campaign finance, and corporate influence in politics.
During the event, the public had the opportunity to hear from New Hampshire State Representative of District 43, Maria Perez. She is the first Salvadoran immigrant to be a State Representative in her district.
In an interview, Perez makes it clear that she no longer supports the Democratic Party. Rep. Maria Perez has switched from the Democratic Party to an Independent.
Perez believes the biggest issue America is currently facing is the loss of humanity.
“We don’t have humanity. Humanity is gone. We forgot about, cared about, people. Right now people see more parties; they don’t see humans,” Perez said.
On Monday, Rep. Dean Phillips held an event in Manchester, N.H., where many of his supporters poured in. Phillips addressed concerns including immigration, health care for all, no-label candidates, January 6th riots, and the country’s obesity rate.
During Phillips’ event, many voters opened up about their current concerns in America.
Zoe, from Massachusetts, believes the level of extremism in America is worrisome.
“I think extremism is a very real threat to American democracy,” Zoe said.
Jill, from Manchester N.H., comments that the biggest issues America is facing consist of health care, housing, equal pay, and “the cult of Donald Trump.”
Courtney Bent, from Durham, N.H., was very firm when she said that she believes the biggest issue America is currently facing is “Donald Trump.”
“I feel like after January 6th, to have somebody in power who is so ready to allow utter chaos and utter destruction happen at our capitol, when he could have called that off with one tweet,” Bent said.
During the Monday event, Phillips introduced former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who has recently endorsed him. Yang made it clear that he believes that Joe Biden is not the fit candidate to beat former President Donald Trump.
When asked what he believes to be the biggest issue America is currently facing he stated the affordability crisis in the country.
“Whether that’s young people trying to afford college tuition or people trying to buy homes, or start a family, or being able to actually pay for health care without going broke. Those are problems that afflict Americans of every party every generation, that’s why our political system seems so dysfunctional,” Yang said during the interview.
Whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent, most voters agreed with the fact that the nation is currently encountering obstacles and that something has to be done to change that. Whether those obstacles are related to one another is a different story. What is known is that these citizens will make their voices heard when it’s time to go to the polls and vote.