Election eve in DC: hope, cynicism
In a traditionally Democratic stronghold, voters offer a mix of views on candidates
Americans who live closest to the White House expressed cynicism, pessimism and some optimism about the presidential candidates less than 24 hours before election day on Tuesday.
Aby Diaz moved three months ago from Florida to Langley Park in Maryland, a multi-cultural neighborhood with a lot of working-class residents. It’s also close to the University of Maryland and part of the Greater Washington metro area.
Diaz said she will be traveling on the election day and hasn’t cast an absentee ballot.
“Trump!” Diaz replied with a resounding voice when asked which candidate she likes. “We need Trump. We need someone who is radical, who is strong, who loves his country and is willing to make a good change, not Obama’s change.”
Diaz, carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag, described “Obama’s change” as “destroying the country.”
Dianna Washington, a middleage woman in Carver-Langston in northeast Washington, said she will vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
She described Clinton as a better candidate than Republican candidate Donald Trump because her husband Bill Clinton was president. “She knows more about the situation than Trump,” she said.
Asked about the key issues that she cares about, Washington said, “A better United States; a better situation here because the crime rate is terrible.”
There were 154 homicides across the nation’s capital in 2015, compared with 97 in 2014, and the most since 2008, according to government statistics. Most of the killings took place
I want our next president to represent the best aspects of the American culture and diplomacy, and the best ideas we have. I just don’t see that role in Donald Trump.” Peter Clerkin, DC resident and former Bernie Sanders supporter
in communities east of the Rock Creek River and in relatively poor neighborhoods heavily populated by blacks.
Peter Clerkin, who lives in the Cleveland Park section, a relatively upper-middle-class neighborhood in northwest Washington, had worked for Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign. He has voted for an independent candidate before, but said he will vote for Clinton.
Clerkin said the key issues he cares about is for the US not to get into any more conflicts in the Middle East and to be a responsible power.
“I want our next president to represent the best aspects of the American culture and diplomacy, and the best ideas we have. I just don’t see that role in Donald Trump,” he said.
In the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, 67-yearold Mary just finished shopping and was sitting on a bench in the sunshine on 14th Street. “I don’t like either one of them,” said the woman, who declined to reveal her last name.
Asked who she will vote for on Tuesday, Mary said with disdain, “Anybody, there are two people there. When I go, I am just going to pick one.
“This country does not take care of its poor. It does not take care of its homeless. It does not take care of its senior citizens. It does not take care of the mentally ill. And it’s disrespectful of the vets, the people who fought for us,” she said.
A study last year by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning non-profit group, showed that 26 percent of blacks in the city lived below the poverty line in 2014 while only 7 percent of non-Hispanic whites lived at that level. The population of the nation’s capital in 2015, was 672,228, according to the US Census.
The capital also has the highest food-stamp-use percentage in the US.