Voters back Clinton despite reservations

Supporters of Mrs Hillary Clinton at her Super Tuesday gathering in Miami, Florida. Many Democratic voters said they were ready to eschew the dreamy Bernie Sanders revolution for Mrs Clinton as they believe she can save them from a Trump presidency.
Supporters of Mrs Hillary Clinton at her Super Tuesday gathering in Miami, Florida. Many Democratic voters said they were ready to eschew the dreamy Bernie Sanders revolution for Mrs Clinton as they believe she can save them from a Trump presidency.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

FAIRFAX (Virginia) • Across the United States, from the crucial swing state of Virginia to deeper- blue Minnesota, many Democratic voters said that despite being aware of Mrs Hillary Clinton's trust issues, they were more than ready to support her.

Many said they fear Mr Donald Trump as an existential threat to American values, and they were ready to eschew the dreamy Bernie Sanders revolution for Mrs Clinton and her battle-tested campaign machine.

"If this country gets a Republican, we are in big trouble, especially with Trump," Ms Flor Giraldo, 59, an unemployed emergency room technician, said on Tuesday outside a polling station in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

"If he gets chosen, this will be an impossible country, and I think Hillary is going to save us."

In the Boston neighbourhood of West Roxbury, where Mayor Martin Walsh and former president Bill Clinton campaigned for Mrs Clinton on Super Tuesday morning, her supporters acknowledged grappling with whether they could trust Mrs Clinton and worrying that something explosive, and destructive to her candidacy, could still come to light.

TARGETING RIVAL CAMP

The stakes in this election have never been higher and the rhetoric we're hearing on the other side has never been lower.

MRS HILLARY CLINTON


A FIGHT TO THE END

At the end of tonight, 15 states will have voted, 35 states will remain. Let me assure you that we are going to take our fight for economic justice, for social justice, for environmental sanity, for a world of peace to every one of those states.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS

"I hope there's nothing in those speeches that she made," said Ms Adrienne Vaughan, an immigration lawyer, referring to Mrs Clinton's speeches to Goldman Sachs and other financial firms, for which she was paid handsomely but has not released transcripts.

Similar concerns were echoed in Decatur, Georgia, where Ms Dana Calleja, 47, said she voted for Mrs Clinton while admitting she had reservations.

"I wish there weren't all of the questions around the e-mails and Benghazi," she said, "but it all came down to qualifications."

In dozens of interviews, voters said their desire for an experienced candidate who would be favoured to win in November had played a greater role in their decisions than enthusiasm for Mrs Clinton.

"I don't vote with my emotions," said Ms Bridget Coughlan Hermer, 54, a teacher and Clinton supporter from Madison Lake, Minnesota. "I vote with my head."

One thing nearly all of Mrs Clinton's supporters agree on is her resume is without compare.

In Austin, Texas, Mr Donald Goertz, 76, a former classics teacher, said he had voted for her because "I can't imagine anybody more knowledgeable than Hillary". But he said he had to fight the tug of Mr Sanders' message: "I like his populism."

And when his wife, Mrs Donna Bryant Goertz, 76, professed her affection for Mrs Clinton, it was in the form of tough love.

"I love Hillary," she said.

"I think what she needs is a strong dose of Bernie. I voted for Bernie - to push her more in the direction that we would both like her to go."

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'Voters back Clinton despite reservations'. Print Edition | Subscribe