NEWFIELD, NY – Tuesday is the New York presidential primary and voters are heading to the polls. Throughout the day, The Ithaca Voice will be talking with voters from throughout the county.

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We started in Newfield, where a line of about 20 people had formed before the polling place opened, where both parties seemed to be turning out in roughly equal numbers, with Democrats favoring Bernie Sanders and Republicans favoring Donald Trump.

Republicans

Trump was the clear choice among most of the Republican voters we spoke to.

One Trump voter who didn’t give his name was one of the most outspoken about the candidate. He said that Trump was the only one with the guts to tell it like it is and the only one with a plan to get things done. Ted Cruz, he argued, wouldn’t be able to get rid of Obamacare or the IRS, where he believed that Trump would.

Another Trump, Margie Carrier, said that she actually preferred Cruz, but felt that Trump was going to win New York State and didn’t want to “throw her vote away.”

William Metro, perhaps better known as the Commons magician, also voted for Trump.

“Right now, he’s the strongest candidate. He’s come so far and he’s brought up several important issues relating to our national security and our borders and our economy,” said Metro. He also explained that Trump had taking advice from noted policy experts like Larry Kudlow, economic advisor to Ronald Reagan, which he felt would the US when it came to trade issues.

“I just think our country is due for a change, and I think it doesn’t matter, Republican, Democrat, who gets into office,” said another Trump supporter, John O’Rourke. “The way status quo has been, the middle class is just sick and tired of Washington politics and we need someone who will run this country like a business. I think it’s really time for tough love.”

Karen VanEtten voted for John Kasich. She said she felt he was the only-level headed candidate in the field, saying that he seemed reasonable and had a positive demeanor whereas the other candidates had shown their “bad parts.”

Democrats

The Newfield democrats we talked to mostly leaned toward Bernie Sanders — even those who voted for Hillary Clinton espoused respect for the progressive candidate.

Newfield resident Audrey Baker said that she supported Sanders particularly due to his stances on issues like environmental protection and social justice. She added that she wasn’t concerned about the criticisms of Sanders perceived weakness on policy, believing that a well-appointed cabinet would be able to handle that aspect.

Shannon Mazourek was another Sanders supporter. Asked her primary reason why she supported Sanders, she said, “Because I don’t trust Hillary.” Mazourek also said that she felt that Sanders was the only candidate who wasn’t owned by corporations.

Crystal Taylor described Sanders as, “The ideal candidate… he pretty much embodies everything I believe in… He’s supported by the people, his money is from the people, he just strikes me as a really genuine sort of guy. I get the same sort of warm-hearted feeling that I got when Obama first started running, like this is a real person who actually cares.”

On the Clinton side, Sam Shapiro said that he had a lot of respect for Bernie and had been following him for years, but felt that he wouldn’t fare very well in the general election.

Shapiro worried: “People would just say, ‘He’s a communist, he’s a communist,” and those attacks might sink his chances in the general.

George Diller said he said that he supported Clinton because he felt that her husband Bill Clinton had done a great job while in office and expected similar things from Hillary.

He said that the carpenter’s union he belonged to benefited a lot during that administration, and the Clintons have also been supportive of farmers. Both of which pushed him in that direction.

Diller, too, said that he was still a fan of Sanders. Diller said, “If Hillary don’t make it, when I come back here in November it’ll be for Bernie.”

Jolene Almendarez contributed reporting.

The following people appear in the video below (Sequential order): John O’Rourke, Herbert Blake Werner, William Metro, John Balmer, Karen Vanetten and  Jamie Levesque.

Truck seen at the Newfield polling station. (Photo by Jolene Almendarez / The Ithaca Voice)

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.