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'Scary' Weather Won't Keep Md. Retirees From Voting

Elections officials fear that a nasty downpour of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the region may hurt turnout in today's Potomac Primary. But voters at some polling places in Maryland aren't letting the wintry mix keep them from voting in this presidential election.

As staff writer Dan DeVise reports from Leisure World in Silver Spring, turnout was heavy at the retirement community -- and mostly Democratic.

For Joan Reynolds, 67, the drive to the polling place at Leisure World was "scary."

"But I was determined to vote," Reynolds said.

The retirees were a cautious group. Some voters said they were uncomfortable voting for someone of Sen. Hillary Clinton's gender, while others said Sen. Barack Obama seemed to have come out of nowhere.

Thomas Jenkins, 81, said he voted for Clinton mostly out of allegiance to her husband, the former president.

"Let's put it this way," he said. "Bill Clinton was one of the smartest people we ever had in the presidency. And if Hillary gets in there, he's going to have a lot to say. I don't know how this Obama is going to do."

David Wood, 83, said he couldn't picture Clinton facing down heads of state.

"I think in this cruel world, better have a man addressing these tyrants," he said. "Very few women have held that job effectively," he said, noting Margaret Thatcher as an exception. Of Clinton, he said, "She broke down in tears the other day. She loses her head. She's not up to it, I don't think."

But Marylin J. Watson, 76, said she rated Clinton the more seasoned candidate. "I think she's been around enough," she said. "She knows how things work in Washington D.C., I think."

Iraq was the main issue for several voters. For Sue Dollins, 59, it was the economy.

"Economy, economy, economy is what it's all about for me," she said. "More so than yesterday, and tomorrow more so than today. It's just on a downward slide."

By Philip Rucker  |  February 12, 2008; 6:29 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Potomac Primary  
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