Idahoans have been fixated on the 2016 presidential race from the very beginning and they are not letting go now — not even as the campaign enters its final three months.
Thursday I asked our audience to tell me if they were backing Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson — or whether they were even planning to vote. I asked them to cite reasons for their choice and give advice about how candidates could win over the ‘undecideds.’ I also asked whether they though any of the candidates would be visiting Idaho before Nov. 8 election.
Though dozens simply said they preferred Trump, Clinton, Johnson or even Green Party candidate Jill Stein, here is a sampling of the responses from people who elaborated via email or the Statesman’s social media channels:
Mike Shoemaker A vote for (Gary) Johnson is a vote for Hillary. I'll take four years and done of Trump over Hillary and 1,000 years of darkness any day. This election is about one thing and one thing only: Who will nominate the next two to three Supreme Court justices? That's it! Hillary cannot be allowed to be that person!
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Josh Scholer 1) As a 20-year-old senior at Boise State, I am supporting Clinton in this election. First of all, I know you say choosing Clinton because she “isn't Trump,” doesn't qualify as a good answer, but to be honest it's a great reason. However, my main reason for supporting Clinton is because governing is not easy nor glamorous like Trump thinks it is. In his speech accepting the nomination, Trump (with absolutely zero political and governing experience) said he was the one person who could fix our problems. Clinton is very experienced, balanced and knows the process. Trump is quite literally the opposite. 2) As for her dishonesty, I still have trust issues with Clinton. Her career ties to Wall Street are pretty concerning, but overall I agree with a lot of her stated policy positions. One could sit and speculate, “Well, she isn't going to do any of them,” however you could do that with any candidate who runs for any office. If she wants to win over undecideds, she has to keep doing what she is right now. Admit the email situation was a mistake, clarify her perspective on Benghazi, and keep pointing out the all-to-obvious differences between her and Trump. 3) I'm going to say the chances of Clinton showing up to Idaho before the election are about as good as me winning the presidential election in November. As for Trump, he lost pretty badly in Idaho to Ted Cruz. I doubt Trump will go anywhere where he lost, save for Ohio and Texas. He's probably got a tad too big of an ego for that.
Sherry Since you asked, I am a registered Republican and I'll be voting for Hillary. She has political office experience and I liked what Chelsea said about her mom. The Donald, just ugh, how did that even happen? I'm still in shock.
Jeremy McClain Can anyone tell me how someone who cannot keep track of emails is qualified to be in charge of our military? She is not a good person in general. Bipolar is the fist thing that comes to mind! Voting for Johnson is a vote that won't count and Hillary gets that vote, so Trump is the only choice in my personal opinion!
Hans Crager . . .In most cases, I vote Republican because that person is simply closer to where I see the world. However, this year, I can't do it. I initially liked Trump for this reason: he says what he thinks and doesn't care what politically correct consequences come of it. . . The problem is Trump isn't thoughtful. He reacts out of ego and bluster, and just doesn't make a lot of sense . . . Add to this the fact that I don't think he's really a Republican, he's coarse and crude, and a bully, and it all means I can't vote for him. So should I vote for Hillary? Besides the obvious trust issues everybody knows she has with the public, if you watched her acceptance speech, you had to be astounded. We are $18 trillion in debt, and she's running through the programs “government” will give the people. The government may indeed need to raise taxes on the wealthy — but it will takes years of that tax increase to pay for what the “government” has already given and committed to give the people. That debt and any desire to add “free” programs to it ought to scare the hell out of people. So I'm left with (Gary) Johnson-(Bill) Weld. I am a Christian, and Libertarians generally don't think much of religion, but I have to be OK with that. They're for smaller government, and truly, with an $18 trillion dollar debt, we need to trim our spending and probably raise taxes, too, just to get back to zero. And frankly the best thing that could happen to American politics is for a third party to win a presidential election, because it will absolutely wrest some of the power from the two political parties and put it back in the hands of the people, where it has always belonged. . . .
Christopher McCourt Johnson, definitely not Clinton. She should be jail.
Michael Woods You are forgetting about one more candidate out there but unfortunately her name is not on the ballet in Idaho yet and we need to have her name and her party placed on the Ballot in November: Jill Stein of the Green Party.
Andre Gensburger A vote for Johnson is a vote for Clinton. By reducing the Republican votes for Trump you will put her in office.
Jamie Skrypkun Hillary just said she's RAISING MIDDLE CLASS TAXES. Besides being guilty of treason, gross-negligence, and espionage and selling 20 percent of our U.S. uranium stockpiles to Russia's Putin and pocketing the cash into her phoney tax-free Clinton Foundation and paying-off House and Senate Republicans...that's kind of a bummer? #VoteTrump
James Smith The two worst candidates ever are running for the top job. A liar and a crier.
Glen Wells Write-in Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska. My vote in Idaho is meaningless anyway.
Deane Blakeslee I am so tired of the direction the Democrats & RINO's have taken us. I believe that the above people have ceased to listen to us, if they ever did. I believe that the reason Trump resonates with me is that he wants to recapture what we, the US, stands for. That's why I am voting for Trump!
Rebecca Christie Not totally committed to anyone yet with my vote... waiting to see what Gary Johnson has to say first.
Chris McCall Mr. Trump for President. Mr. Trump would be the best choice since Ronald Reagan! 100% truth. Hillary Clinton will destroy America. , but I wish it would have been Bernie.
ibebob21 The thought of having a businessman as president instead of a politician is extraordinary.
Randy Taylor I am clearly in support of Clinton and will vote for her. My reasons: 1) she is “presidential,” 2) she is knowledgeable of our entire government, how and why it works, 3) she in intimately aware of world politics and comfortable with awareness of each country’s leadership traits and challenges, 4) I think she is inherently “tough” in protecting our countries best interest globally . . .I think Donald Trump is possibly certifiably mentally ill and absolutely the worst example of what we hold dear as Americans. Donald takes the “ugly American” caricature to a whole new, embarrassing level.
Russell Singleton (Adjunct Faculty, Brigham Young University-Idaho/Physician Assistant at Tripp Family Medicine & Shoshone Family Medical Center)
I wanted to throw in my ‘two cents’ and encourage folks to learn more about Libertarians Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.
And yes, my interest in these two was born out of absolute disgust with both the Republican and Democratic nominees. I only registered as a Republican this year to vote for someone other than Donald Trump, although I have always had Republican leanings.
The more I learned about the Libertarians, however, the more I felt like I could find a home here as well.
Why should my fellow Idahoans, including our local media outlets, turn to Johnson and Weld? First of all, they have both “been there and done that.”' As successful governors of purple states, they not only have critical executive experience, but they have a track record of working with politicians from either party. They have actually balanced budgets. . . .I will also support anyone who opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act! Besides forcing Americans to buy into a broken system, there is nothing 'affordable' about millions of Americans seeing exponential increases in their premiums as well as their deductibles. We now pay more for less and that is unconscionable. . .”
Marci Auld Glass Clinton will get my vote because she is experienced, qualified and sane. Her entire adult life has been spent in the pursuit of building a better world for people. I would never ever ever vote for Trump, who presents himself as an unstable narcissist who is unqualified to lead and who would endanger the public safety. His ignorance about foreign affairs, his willingness to use nuclear weapons, his inability to create actual plans other than “trust me, it will be huge,” his racism and misogyny — all disqualify him as a President. And I lived in New Mexico when (Gary) Johnson was governor — he was a terrible governor. Don't vote for him.