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A political shaking hands with potential voters

The ‘stability’ factor in the New Hampshire primaries

Voters tout restoring common sense, stability.

By Noah Fischer

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Voters and volunteers at the 2024 New Hampshire primaries repeatedly cited one character trait they want to see in the next president: stability.

“I think what folks are really looking for here, and just everywhere, is common sense and a person who brings stability back to the White House,” said Brittany Martinez, a 32-year-old Republican strategist volunteering for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign.

Multiple attendees at Haley’s events spoke of the former governor as a woman who embodied stability as a person and in her political experience.

“Steady,” said Sam Pimm, a 68-year-old donor to the Haley campaign. “She did a wonderful job as U.N. Ambassador. That is a very difficult job.”

“Great consistency. Showing thoughtfulness,” said Rand York, a 68-year-old nonprofit worker, describing the qualities he is looking for in a leader. “Firmness and kindness together.”

Former president Donald Trump often casts himself as an outsider, and as such, views of his stability vary within his own party. 

Gary Lee Pitts, a 65-year-old retiree who voted for Trump in the primary, sees him as an upstanding citizen whose policies make life more stable for Americans. 

“The economy was thriving” under Trump, Pitts said. He wants to return to having a president who is “looking out for the average American.”

Meanwhile, other Republicans portray the former president as a man who would drag the country into four years of chaos.

“Trump is like a bull in a china shop,” said Jennifer Nassour, the former chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican party. “He went through, and he knocked everything down and took everything out. But then he failed to actually rebuild it and to fix anything.”

And for some, President Joe Biden, who is running for reelection in 2024, is also seen as a candidate needing more stability.

April Sheerin, a self-employed 71-year-old, said that the country had gone from one extreme under Trump to the opposite extremity under Biden. “He’s trying to make everybody think that everybody should be woke.”

Voters for self-help author Marianne Williamson and President Joe Biden also echoed the stability factor. 

“It’s really hard to vote for someone who campaigns every once in a while,” said Eddie Love, a 34-year-old dietary aide at a Williamson campaign event. “[Williamson is] somewhere every day.”

Tim Tregea, a 73-year-old retiree, said, “[Biden] comes across as a very honest person,” and he wrote his name on the ballot box. He said the president’s economic policies “improve the life standards of U.S. citizens.”

Representative Dean Phillips speaks to a crown in New Hampshire.
Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., a candidate in the Democratic primary, speaks to a crowd at a rally (Noah Fischer/91㽶Ƶ)

Lisa Gibson, a 47-year-old operations manager for an event space that routinely hosts Democratic Party events, said, “People’s fear of the unknown and what’s gonna happen next” is driving voters’ choices at the ballot box,” she said.

91㽶Ƶ Staff

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