New Hampshire Voters Discuss What’s Important to Them

MERRIMACK, N.H. | I’ve traveled all over the state of New Hampshire in the past several days, capturing video for the NewsHour of the candidates vying to show their strength in the Republican presidential primary process. But I’ve also spoken with many voters at campaign stops who are undecided or leaning toward one candidate — voters who want to see all their options in-person.

Prospective voters in the state take seriously their opportunity to vet the candidates face-to-face, a privilege that few other voters receive as the campaign season moves on to larger states that are driven largely by television advertising.

Below are three interviews with voters who plan to vote in Tuesday’s Republican primary. The interviews are part of a project called, “Listen To Me,” which will focus on what the electorate thinks is important in the 2012 election and how it views our political process.

First is Valerie Morelli, whom I met at a Rick Santorum stump speech event in Amherst, N.H., where she lives. Morelli plans to vote for Mitt Romney. She thinks President Obama has made the country worse off and looks to Romney’s executive experience, particularly with managing the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, as evidence that he can improve the economy.

Next is Joe Raczek of Nashua. He was at a Newt Gingrich event at a Mexican restaurant in Manchester. Raczek is trying to pick between Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul, but his main issue isn’t the economy. Raczek said he wants the country to get out of Afghanistan and figures that the president will have more influence over such a foreign policy decision than he or she would over the economy.

And finally, we have David Girard, who I also spoke with at the Gingrich event in Manchester. David is from Goffstown and has narrowed his choices down to Gingrich or Santorum. As a Catholic, Girard said faith is an important part of his decision. He feels that the importance of religious faith has been diminished under President Obama.

We will have more of these interviews with voters as the NewsHour travels to South Carolina, then Florida, as the 2012 Republican primary race continues. Stay tuned.

With video editing by Justin Scuiletti