MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – Typically, Manchester, New Hampshire would be flooded with news trucks and presidential candidates six days before the primary. But the rush is later than usual, since news coverage and U.S. Senators have been focused in D.C. for the impeachment vote of President Trump.
The President was acquitted Wednesday afternoon on a vote largely along party lines, with the exception of Senator Mitt Romney’s vote.
New Hampshire voters were paying close attention. At Manchester’s Puritan Backroom bar Wednesday night sat a Trump supporter, an Iowa Republican, an undecided Democrat husband and wife, and a Pete Buttigieg voter. It was the perfect recipe for political conversation just after the president’s’ acquittal and just before the first-in-the-nation primary.
“[The President] did something stupid, but hey what are you going to do?” said Alan Rouillier, a lifelong resident of Manchester. “It’s not something to lose your job over. A lot of other people have done a lot of worse things.”
Right next to him, Manchester resident Steve Houle said the Senate “made a political scene out of something that should’ve been taken more seriously and the president didn’t take it seriously at all.” His wife, Tonya Angwin added the final vote was “predictable, but disappointing.”
Merrimac resident Paul Cardinal has his eyes set on Tuesday’s upcoming primary. He’s a Democrat who thinks he’ll vote for Pete Buttigieg but is still listening to the candidates. “I’m feeling kind of terrible,” he said, referencing the caucus debacle in Iowa. “I’m excited for one of these folks to come out and maybe challenge Trump.”
He’s not optimistic about the general election, however. “I’m excited for the election, but…I have a hard time believing anyone is going to unseat him,” he said.
Regardless of their political affiliation, the entire group at the bar welcomes the crowds and candidates to New Hampshire for the primary. “I think it’s exciting,” said Tonya Angwin. “We get a lot of access to the candidates. I love it.” She and her husband plan on being a part of the events and listening to the candidates before casting their votes Tuesday.