HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) — John Anderson, a New Hampshire Republican activist, is deciding between former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul when he heads to the polls on Tuesday. Asked what he thinks of Mitt Romney, the field’s front-runner, the retired construction worker wrinkles his nose.
“My problem with him is he’s been on both sides of every issue that there possibly is,” the resident of the town of Hollis said, citing the former Massachusetts governor’s push for health care reform in his state but repudiation of a similar federal program now. “If Gov. Romney is the candidate for the Republican Party, he’ll have my vote. But in the primary, most of us are having a real terrible time figuring out where to go.”
Romney is supposed to be a shoo-in in New Hampshire, where he owns a vacation home and has maintained a nearly constant presence since his 2008 presidential bid. But even as polls suggest he’s heading for victory in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, many Republicans say they’re exploring other options and have concerns about Romney’s trustworthiness and shifts on key issues.
Interviews across the state found GOP voters eager to replace President Barack Obama. But they’re also disillusioned with Washington in general and wary of politicians’ promises.
“I just distrust government. What concerns me in this election is honesty,” Bob Decker of Rumney said, adding he was deciding between Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.