Niles voters seem split between Kerry, Bush

Published 6:40 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Political analysts call Niles a "bell-weather-town."
It means the outcome of the presidential election is typically decided by the way these towns vote.
If the results of a poll of a dozen random people in Niles conducted Monday is any indication of the outcome of today's election, Senator John Kerry may very well be the new president of the United States of America when all the votes are counted.
Twelve registered voters selected at random were interviewed Monday outside local businesses and were asked who they planned to vote for in the presidential election.
Of those dozen voters interviewed, six were in favor of Kerry, five were in favor of the incumbent President George W. Bush, and one was undecided.
In a microcosm for the entire country, the undecided population could make or break the election for one of the candidates.
Polls in the weeks leading up to election day have had Bush and Kerry in a dead heat, each candidate taking a one to two point lead at different times during their final whirlwind campaigns.
Many of the Kerry supporters cited dissatisfaction with the job Bush has done while in office for the past four years. Most said they were opposed to the war in Iraq and felt the nation needed a change in leadership.
Bush supporters felt the President has been doing a good job and Kerry would be a wrong choice as leader of our nation.
Russ Garvin, 30, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army who recently returned to Niles from a tour of duty in Iraq, said it's important to keep the current commander-in-chief in office while the U.S. is still at war.
Another military man, Eric Ostrander, 30, of Niles, feels Bush is the better man for the job and feels Bush is doing a lot to improve the quality of life for American citizens.
Stephanie Carrico, 21, of Niles is lending her support to Kerry, because she said Bush hasn't gotten anywhere with the war in Iraq. "Kerry seems to answer the questions he's asked, while Bush steps around them in my mind," Carrico said.
Dave Skalski, 57, of Niles is supporting Kerry because he feels the war in Iraq is one the U.S. should not be in. He also cited a poor economy and high health care costs as the other reasons he is voting for Kerry.
Roni Albert, 43, a small business owner from Niles, said she's supporting Bush because she feels Bush supports small businesses and his policies have helped her family out so far.
Ed Simon, 49, of Niles, said he would cast his vote for Bush in the election because he's opposed to gay marriages and abortion. He also added, "I just don't care for Kerry too much."
Dennis Willims, 45, of Niles supports Kerry because he said the country needs a new leader and some change. "I'm no rocket scientist," he said, "but I think Kerry is the man we need. He has a lot of good ideas."
Although she doesn't agree with Kerry's stance on abortion, Linda Bradford, 43, is voting for him because she feels the country needs a change.
Kelly Courtney, 32, of Niles also feels there is a need for a change and is voting Kerry because of it.
Some voters interviewed will be staying home today, as they have already cast absentee ballots for the candidates of choice. Linda Duncan, 56, sent in her vote for Kerry because she doesn't agree with the war in Iraq.
Ray Herbel, 72, sent in his absentee ballot for Bush because he feels the president has more knowledge of what he wants to do. "The other guy (Kerry) says he has a plan, but never says what it is.
The undecided factor in the poll, Larry Habel, 56, of Galeen, said he didn't know which candidate he was voting for because they both seemed similar to him.