Focus on fall Some see Primary as a formality

By on April 18, 2012

By: STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff, Staff Writer

It’s Romney vs. Obama in November, so why even bother with the Pennsylvania primary, right?

That seems to be the consensus among voters leading up to the April 24 election. The Republican race for presidential candidate was the big story, but with Rick Santorum’s withdrawal and the weak level of support for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, it appears to be a lock for the former governor of Massachusetts.

There are other offices up for election Tuesday, including a Republican race to replace Tom Creighton, the state representative for Elizabeth Township, but voter turnout is again anticipated to be low.

The Record Express scanned a few of Lititz’s popular gathering places this week, looking for some insight. As is often the case, few care to see their opinions in print, especially if their names are attached, but here are a few local thoughts leading up to this lackluster primary:

"It doesn’t make a difference," said Warwick field hockey coach Bob Derr while enjoying his morning coffee with school board member Nelson Peters.

Derr plans to vote, but feels the PA primary lost its muscle when Santorum pulled out. The focus now, he said, is the race against Barack Obama in November.

Molly Swan agreed that the story is seven months from now, not seven days. She said she likes President Obama for a second term, as she relaxed with a pint at a local pub Monday night.

"I feel Obama’s first term was a huge step forward for our country," she said. "He had a lot to clean up and we need to give him more time to make a difference."

"The economy is slowly rising," chimed Molly’s sister Amy Enck. "I think things are 50 percent better than they were four years ago. He needs more time to make these big changes."

For Swan, Obama’s approach to health care is a major attraction, as the 22-year-old would be without coverage if not for "Obamacare." She is currently on her parents’ plan.

Assuming the race ends in a Romney-Obama showdown, top presidential priorities in the minds of the voters include, in addition to health care, balancing the budget, unemployment, removing American troops from Afghanistan, and finding a better way to develop our own energy.

"People are focusing on Democrats and Republicans. They’re not focusing on what has to be done. These aren’t party-related problems," pointed out Charles Shirk, one of the "governors" who conducts morning debate at one of Lititz’s coffee shops.

"We (complained) about Bush, and we had a Democratic Congress. Now we have the opposite, and still nothing is getting done," said his cohort Barry Hart. "We need to get the corruption out of the government."

Their suggestion — clean house.

"The first thing we ought to do is get rid of lobbyists, because they’re the ones who are running the government," Shirk said. "Whoever has the most money to give to these clowns in Congress, that’s what gets done."

So, if Tuesday is just a formality, who does the proverbial "man on the street" think will be the next U.S. president?

"I don’t know," said Derr. "I think it’s going to be close."

"I think Obama is going to get in," said Shirk. "There’s no better choice."

"We’re voting for president, and none of them are any good," Hart added.

"The only good guy they have running right now, who doesn’t have a snowball’s chance, is Ron Paul," said Warren Ruth, another member of the morning coffee crew.

Potential spring cleaning starts next Tuesday when polls open at 7 a.m. More ELECTION, page A14

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