By Mark Waite
President Obama’s supporters thought the economy was recovering, while voters for Gov. Mitt Romney were less optimistic, during interviews in front of the polling place at the Bob Ruud Community Center Tuesday.
Some voters professed to voting a straight party line ticket, but there were a lot of voters who cast a split ticket as well.
“I look at it this way, today’s a line in the sand. You can have what you want or you can move forward,” said Mike Taylor, a Romney supporter. “Right or wrong, what we got now isn’t working.”
“People say I vote for him because I’m a Mormon. I don’t vote for Harry Reid. I really don’t care about that part, about religion. I just care about a guy who’s moral, somebody who cares about us and not about himself,” he added.
Al Miner said he votes Republican by tradition. He wasn’t that familiar with some of the people or the issues on the lower part of the ticket.
“I don’t like Obama, that’s the biggest thing,” Miner said. “My biggest concern was getting the vote in for Romney.”
Some Republicans weren’t that enthusiastic about Romney, but voted for him, like Jill Cory.
“I’m not that thrilled about Romney, but I like the Republicans. I wish there was a better choice than Romney,” she said.
Cory said she never received a sample ballot in the mail. “I would’ve liked to be able to formulate my thoughts before I went up there.”
But Patty Leis said, “I voted Romney, not because I’m Republican but because I like his views better than I do Obama. I think Obama has taken us down; I’m hoping Romney is going to take us up, at least a little bit.”
Joe Serrani, a Republican, said, “if we elected Mickey Mouse he would do a better job than who we got in there. They kept saying on TV Romney was putting out, do you want four years more of the same? Which is what we’d get, what you’d end up with and I think Romney is a lot more experienced than Obama was when he got elected. Maybe we’d stand a ghost of a chance with somebody new.”
Serrani said he watched polls on the presidential race on Fox News and other news outlets.
“After the job that Obama’s done and you see it’s a neck and neck race, that means half this country would have to be total idiots,” he said.
Clement Harris, in a real sense of political efficacy, optimistically proclaimed, “mine is the one that is going to elect Romney, this is the one vote he needs to swing Nevada!”
“I don’t particularly care for Romney but I like what he stands for because I’ve seen what’s happened in the last four years. I haven’t seen a lot of jobs created; I’ve seen a lot of changes. I disagree with how our country is run, it’s scary in how much we’re moving toward socialism instead of democracy,” Harris said.
Sandra Hawkins said, “I’m a Republican, I voted for Romney, I’ve always been a Republican, that’s the rules.”
But Hawkins said she has voted outside of her party before — it just depends on the person.
“I just think that we need a little bit more leadership, that’s all,” she said.
Garrett Brown said he voted for Obama, though he felt our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they saw the politicians today.
“I just don’t think that Romney has what it takes. He knows how to build higher end businesses and put out the middle man,” Brown said.
Brown said he would be shocked if Obama won re-election.
Many Obama supporters felt the president needed another four years to turn things around.
“The reason I like Obama is because I don’t think it was fair enough for him to go into the mess he was already in, I don’t think he got a fair shot. I think we can depend on him for the next four years. At least he brought our soldiers home,” Nicole Gonzales said, adding she knows plenty of soldiers whose pictures are on the Wall of Heroes at the Pahrump Walmart.
“I feel even though he’s struggled the last four years I think what he’s put through has finally started to take place, even here in Nevada things have gotten a little bit better. It takes time. It was a disaster when he came in. It’s still a disaster but I don’t consider it as bad. I’m here because of the previous administration, because we had to short sale our house in San Diego,” Vicki Dockum said.
“I voted for Obama and Joe Biden. I watched all the political ads, I tried to catch all the debates and did as much research as I could. I honestly felt he would be the best one to help run the country for the next four years, that and Romney just scares me. I voted for Dean Heller for senate, I liked his bill that he wants to do: no budget, no pay,” James Bonetti said.
Douglas Chino said he voted for Obama in 2008 when he was 18, his first election, and voted for him again Tuesday to continue his job another four years.
“I still believe in the promise he made, I see some of them are coming true right now. There’s a lot of work to go forward with him, but I believe he’s working for the people,” Chino said.
Amy Gang said she voted a straight Democratic ticket because they’re mostly who she felt for, but added she voted for James Oscarson for state assembly.
Robert Lopez Sr. said he originally liked Republican Newt Gingrich but ended up voting for Obama.
“I’m middle class, I’ve been living in Pahrump for 25 years. I have a wife who’s handicapped,” Lopez said. “I don’t think Romney would help my family as much as Obama would.”
Bonnie Berkowitz said she voted for Obama.
“I think he’s the least worse of the two evils. I don’t vote for the party. I vote for who I think might do a better job and hopefully Obama will continue to do that,” she said.
Berkowitz said she voted for Harley Kulkin for state senate.
“He’s probably the only candidate for the town. Like the sign says, he’s here, the other two candidates are up north and the east,” she said.
Wendy Green said she voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
“He believes in a lot of the social liberties that Obama does and the Democrats and that sort of thing, but he’s fiscally responsible so I like that fine balance between the two,” Green said. But she added, “either way we’re screwed because it’s going to be one of the two main parties that wins.”
John O’Rourke didn’t like the two main choices he was left with.
“With all the millions of people we have in America you couldn’t find anyone more progressive?” O’Rourke asked.
Despite the disagreements from both sides, Don Brod, the retired Nye County School District superintendent of maintenance, expressed a sentiment everyone could probably agree with by election day.
“I’m tired of all the ads and I’m glad it’s going to be over,” he said.