US primaries: Virginia voices

Al Jazeera speaks to voters in Virginia about their choices for president.

As US voters goes to the polls in Virginia, Maryland and the district of Columbia in the “Potomac primary”, named after the river that runs through the region, Al Jazeera spoke to six voters about who they cast their ballot for and what issues made an impact on their decision.

Katie Yamamoto, physical therapist

I voted for John McCain. I’m a moderate conservative and I feel that while McCain has conservative values he is liberal where he needs to be.

I did struggle on who to choose and I may even vote Democrat come the election.

I don’t agree with him on Iraq but I think he is strong on defense.

I don’t think Obama has the experience, he’s a captivating speaker and has great ideas but there’s no possibility of him happening [as president].

As for Huckabee, I’m a Christian and I think he has good values as a Baptist minister, but I find McCain more electable.

John Creyke, entrepreneur

I voted for Obama, even though I’m a registered Republican.

I spent 10 years in the US military and I feel that, as a “have” in a country of “have nots”, it is time that the “have nots” have their say.

I think we all need to send a message to Washington DC, because we have a fear based mentality here over immigration and other issues.

I was in the US military in the 1970s and 1980s and the quality of the military now is very high, but we’re wasting it.

I don’t think going into Iraq was wrong, but how can we referee that conflict now?

Obama would be a fantastic opportunity for this country.

Katie Kampmann, manager

I voted for Obama, I think between Hillary and Obama it’s a bit of a toss-up, but given her vote in favour of the war I decided to vote for him.

We need to end this war and try to redeem our national dignity.

Regarding the economy we need to have more rational policies.

It’s going to be a huge task, but I think that the Democrats are heading in the right direction.

Valerie Derick, assistant

I voted for Obama.

I was a Republican for a while, but I’m now Democrat. 

The fact that there was a woman running and the fact that I don’t think that a woman should be president meant I couldn’t vote for Hillary.

It’s more of a man’s world out there.

I want change and I think Obama’s something different, I believe in what he says.

As far as the Iraq war I think he will end it and I think our troops should come home, they should not be there.

Helena, assistant manager

I voted for Hillary Clinton because she has the most experience.

If you own a business and you need a good CEO you have to get the best and the most qualified, so I had no doubt at all.

When I listen to her she knows what she is speaking about – for example on healthcare.

I expect she would be good on that issues and she would also help lower income families.

She has been to the White House before, so there is no hesitation from her.

Jeremy Geldzahler, pharmaceutical worker

I voted for Obama. I think he can bring change and unite the country. For the past eight years the country has been so polarised.

I’m also concerned about the economy and a possible recession – deficits are up and debts are up.

On the Republican side there’s no person I’d lean towards, but if McCain won at least I’d respect him.

I think it’s time to vote for a new guard of politicians.

Source : Al Jazeera


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