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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Bedford, Ron Paul backers like consistent message, commitment to Constitution

BEDFORD – Shivering and bundled up in several layers of clothing, Bedford resident Kristin Noble, 38, was one of Ron Paul’s dedicated supporters Tuesday. She held her “Ron Paul 2012” sign all day long outside Bedford High School, starting when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

“I believe in his message,” Noble said of Paul. “Even people walking into the polls are still sometimes undecided, so I wanted to show my support and try to take some of those votes.”

The Texas congressman stopped at polls in Bedford, Nashua, Derry, and Manchester on Tuesday to shake hands, greet supporters and try to pick up a few last-minute votes.

Paul has drawn a passionate following from his consistent stances, including pledges to limit federal government regulation and stay committed to the Constitution.

Those issues in particular grabbed Noble’s vote, and also those of other Bedford residents Dennis and Aimee Taylor, 48 and 39.

“I want a president who understands the constitution and feels bonded by it,” Dennis Taylor said.

Aimee Taylor said Paul understands health care issues.

“If anyone can bring change to this nation, he can,” she said of Paul.

The Taylors said they hope Paul pulls off the upset Tuesday night.

“Romney represents the 1 percent of the 1 percent of the 1 percent,” Dennis Taylor said. “He can’t relate. He’s out of touch. I hope the Republicans wake up, because I think Romney is an un-electable candidate.”

Even some voters who picked Romney on Tuesday weren’t happy about it.

Tom Levesque, 70, of Litchfield, said he “plugged (his) nose and voted for Romney.”

“I’m not satisfied with any of the candidates, but we need a change for the country’s sake,” he said.

But many of Paul’s supporters at the polls in Greater Nashua were passionate about their candidate.

Dick Surrette, 59, of Litchfield, said Paul has been the most consistent Republican in the field. He voted for Paul Tuesday but expects him to finish behind Romney when the results are announced.

“A victory would be good, but a strong showing is also important,” he said.

Judy Maitland of Hudson also turned to Paul. She doesn’t know how Paul will fare in this primary, let alone in the general election, but felt comfortable casting a vote for him now.

Maitland particularly likes Paul’s view that businesses, and not government, should take more responsibility for offering good health care.

Despite the recent poll projections, Noble hopes Paul can win, but she would accept a close second-place finish to Romney, as well.

“Second is good, although I think it will be closer than what the polls have said,” she said. “In New Hampshire, even in the last day things can change dramatically.”

Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or ckittle@nashuatelegraph.com. Also check out Kittle (@Telegraph_CamK) on Twitter.