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In The Streets, N.H. Reacts To Biden's Win

Supporters of President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden took to the streets in towns across New Hampshire on Saturday, after major news outlets announced Biden had won the election.

Amanda MacLellan of Manchester drove to the State House in Concord to celebrate with other Biden supporters. She carried a sign reading: "Your struggle is bound up in mine."

MacLellan said she is nervous about the level of division in the country, but found it powerful to see people celebrating the Democratic win.

“I just wanted to organically gather with people who were as excited about the possibility of justice in the future as I am,” she said.

Nearby, Trump supporters were looking for justice of a different kind - against the people they say are stealing the election.

Credit Sarah Gibson / NHPR
Greg Butko of Richmond, N.H.

Waving American and Trump flags - and in one case, a Confederate flag - Trump supporters chanted “Stop The Steal,” echoing sentiments of a group recently removed from Facebook that accused Democrats of trying to nullify Republican votes.

At this point, there is no evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire or other battleground states.

Greg Butko of Richmond said he’s waiting for Trump to win the election in the courts.

“I want it publicly exposed and if what he says is true - which I believe is true - I want these people prosecuted,” he said.

Crowd Gathers in Portsmouth to Celebrate News

Portsmouth’s Market Square became an afternoon rally point for those cheering the news.

Karen Skinner of Portsmouth has stood in Market Square often over the past four months. She made a beeline for it after hearing the news Saturday.

“I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. I couldn’t be happier,” Skinner said. “This is a wonderful choice … he’s got the most popular votes of any president in history .. he deserves it, he earned that.”

Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR
Elizabeth Fischman of Portland, Maine, in Market Square in Portsmouth, N.H.

Elizabeth Fischman of Portland, Maine, was on her way to the Home Depot when she found her way to Market Square. Once there, she held up a handmade sign: ‘1st Woman Vice Prez - Kamala Harris.”

“It means that the United States chose love over hate,” Fischman said, “and that people listened to all the racial injustice, and all the bigotry that was happening in this country, and took a stand.”

Buzby Cook of Eliot, Maine, stood in the middle of the crowd on the sidewalk and waved an American flag.

Many elections are seen as important, but Cook said 2020 was in its own league.

“Another four years of this wouldn’t have been good in my opinion,” he said. “I always tell people that we got through the Civil War, we’ll get through this one, but why go through hell again like that? We should learn something from all that.”

Dawn Przychodzien and Beth Jefferson of Portsmouth said Market Square was the place to be to celebrate. Jefferson learned of the news while on a bike ride - and had to pull over to get the details.

“I started crying,” Przychodzien said. “I’m sure just like the rest of the half of the country,” she said. “We’re so ecstatic, we’re so happy to be here with so many other individuals who share a point of view. It’s a great day.”

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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