Four New Hampshire independents, four reasons they voted Democratic
A majority of independent voters in Tuesday's presidential primary chose one of the Democratic candidates. Those who voted on the GOP side helped boost McCain to victory.
Bedford and Goffstown, N.H.
Andre Gibeau's decision came down to a choice between following his head or his heart. His heart was beating "90 percent" for Rep. Dennis Kucinich, he says. But "10 percent" was thinking: Sen. Barack Obama. In the end, he says, he followed his heart.Skip to next paragraph
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Betty Ward was won over by Senator Obama and his message of hope.
Donna Richards, after careful calculation of all the candidates' policies and worldviews, went with John Edwards.
These unaffiliated voters, like about 6 in 10 New Hampshire independents, cast Democratic ballots in the state primary Tuesday, according to a Monitor analysis of NBC exit polls. Enough of these political free spirits pulled Republican ballots to help boost Sen. John McCain to victory on the GOP side. But the overarching tilt of Granite State independents toward the Democrats, mirroring the trend five days earlier in Iowa, may be an early indicator of how America's growing ranks of independent voters may tilt come November.
"In New Hampshire and nationwide it bodes well for the Democratic nominee and the rest of Democrats on the ticket because independents actually did vote in the Democratic primary," says Dick Bennett, president of the American Research Group, a polling firm based in Manchester, N.H. "Independents dislike partisanship and don't really like to participate in primaries."
Interest in New Hampshire independents has been high because, well, they make up such a large share of the electorate here: 44 percent. True to their reputation as unpredictable and freethinking, many had not made up their minds until primary day or a few days before.
Focus on the Constitution
Even Mr. Gibeau, a self-described news junkie, was undecided as of Tuesday morning. On Election Day, he had two TVs on – one tuned to CNN, one to MSNBC – and he continued to read online and listen to the radio.
Gibeau, an attorney, says he had the US Constitution uppermost in thought when he went in to vote. He was drawn to Ohio's Representative Kucinich because of their shared views on "personal liberties, restoring the Constitution, focusing on the balance of trade, especially where China is concerned," he says.