For N.H.'s Politically Inclined, Impeachment and Primary Leave Room for Little Else

Nov 24, 2019

A supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders during a rally in Franklin on Saturday.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

For people who pay close attention to politics, this is an unusually busy moment. Two weeks of impeachment hearings in Washington, combined with the crowded field of presidential candidates in the first-in-the-nation primary, is leaving some overwhelmed -- or just plain tuckered out -- in New Hampshire right now. 

“Absolutely, it is incredibly exhausting,” said Jason Willette while waiting to enter a rally in Manchester for Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday. “But nothing worth doing isn’t.” 

A half-dozen candidates crisscrossed the state this weekend, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, who spoke inside Franklin High School Saturday morning.

There, some voters said life’s obligations -- work, school -- prevented them from watching as much of the impeachment hearings as they’d have liked to.

For others, the weekend’s political events were the dessert to a two-week long political feast.

“This is what determines what our life is going to be, who makes the rules; it all comes down to this,” said John Sgammato of Plymouth, Mass., when asked why he is so devoted to national politics. “If you aren’t paying attention, then you don’t have any right to complain.”

Along with civic duty, some voters said they felt they were taking part in a bit of history, from watching the impeachment hearings to helping select the Democratic nominee for president.

Plus, the two parallel political dramas are nearly impossible to ignore. 

“I think it is a big part of most Americans’ lives at this point. I feel like politics is intruding itself into our lives in ways it hasn’t, that I can remember,” said Tina Kirpatrick of Bow. “It is different now than it used to be.”