Stopping in the warm Visitor Center of Claremont, New Hampshire, you wouldn’t have know that we were in a highly contested area of the political sphere. The employees seemed busy in their own work in their toasty and cozy gazebo overlooking the Sugar River. The office didn’t give off the vibe that the primary in New Hampshire was 26 days away. The workers were not deterred by the sight of newcomers; there were maps to create and emails to send. It didn’t look like the primary was that close either. I was expecting signs strewn all over the city, people wearing buttons, and car stickers plastered on every passing vehicle that zoomed by, but it felt very normal. However, the face-numbing cold and soft snow falling from the gray sky showed me that it was Primary Season in New Hampshire.
I had been walked through the icy town asking citizens about their thoughts on the election and leanings toward a candidate. Each person who actually opened the door seemed annoyed that people were asking for their opinion and usually didn’t know who, or sometimes for what party, they were going to vote for. I was surprised that citizens seemed so annoyed by a process that the party elites were fighting for them to have. Hailing from Wisconsin and having school in Minnesota, I didn’t feel that my vote has ever been sought after as those in New Hampshire. I expected the citizens to understand how many millions of dollars and thousands of people come to the Granite State. I thought they would know what was coming. But after each doorbell rung, every knock on the door from my frigid fingers that had to escape my gloves, every “yoo-hoo!” that I “sang”, I was meet with annoyed eyes that didn’t want to see me. I know that not everyone care about politics, and that’s acceptable. I understand that not everyone knows about the political system and why primaries matter or even be able to name 3 candidates from each side. But even when the state that has been attracting national attention since July has their citizens seem complacent about the issues, I feel more invigorated to trudge on through the cold and continue to ask people about their ideas to hopefully spread the word through the state.
--William Seabrook is a Senior Political Science and Economics major with Finance emphasis at St. Olaf College. He looks to work in politics upon graduation and is excited to see the details and logistics of the event planning as he has a first hand look while in New Hampshire.