NoVa's GOP Voters Speak
Throughout the day, Post reporters have found some GOP voters in Virginia are gravitating toward Sen. John McCain as the party's all-but-certain nominee but others remain reluctant to embrace the Arizona Republican.
Post reporter Nick Miroff found Republican voters in Prince William County who backed Huckabee said they knew their candidate was a long shot, but went for him anyway. "I like his religious beliefs," said Dan Boger, 73, a real estate investor voting at Potomac Middle School in Dumfries, adding that he wasn't worried about the candidate's improbable odds. "The Lord's going to take care of that," he said.
Woodbridge resident Amy Taylor, a 57-year-old social worker who described herself as Christian and pro-life, said Huckabee was "the only true conservative."
"I think the media's largely ignored him," she groused. "Hillary and Obama have gotten all the attention."
The tight Democratic race seems like too much "infighting" to Jaime Estrada, 46, a telecommunications technician and Occoquan resident. So he voted for McCain. "We're in a difficult time, and we need someone strong who knows how to get things done," he said.
Retired police lieutenant Robert Chambers, 66, said he was tempted to vote for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), but thinks he's too "young and unproven." He also settled on McCain. "I trust him," said Chambers, who lives in Occoquan. "He's put his dues in."
IAt the sprawling Robinson Secondary School campus in Fairax, voters lined up in the hallway of the main entrance, as crowds of students walked by. Outside the front door, reporter Michael Alison Chandler found a trio huddled to keep warm and shared their ballot decisions.
"I voted for Ron Paul. Wahoo!" Rachel Korpan Lee, 26, a George Mason University student, throwing her hands in the air. "I tend to vote libertarian...I wanted to show my support,"
Her husband Andrew Lee, 28, a producer for Radio America, said he also voted for Rep. Paul (R-Texas). "He doesn't have a chance, but I couldn't bring myself to vote for McCain. He doesn't have the support of the base. I think he will probably lose in the general election," he said.
In Loudoun County, reporter Jonathan Mummolo checked out the scene this morning at Park View High School in Sterling, as the first snowflakes were beginning to fall.
Jessie Chambers, 80, a diminutive woman, walked to the Sterling polling station on crutches. A Republican, she was a fan of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney until he dropped out. She said she decided to vote for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee "because there's no other choice."
With her was Mark Vayda, 82, who also voted for Huckabee as his second choice, after Romney. Of McCain, Vayda said: "I don't trust the man at all." He said he believes McCain is weak on immigration. "I believe in sealing the borders," Vayda said.
At Marsteller Middle School in western Prince William County, Clare Klingaman, 38, told reporter Kristen Mack she voted for McCain as her second choice after former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani dropped out. "I can't stand the ultra-right-wing, conservative part of my party," Klingaman said, adding that she backed McCain because he's "strong on defense."
Beverly Seman, who lives in Bailey's Crossroads and said she was in her 50s, told Chandler she voted for McCain because he is the "most honest" candidate. "He will risk his career for what he believes in," she said.
Jane Hipp, 46, an at-home mom and staunch Republican From Alexandria, brought her 8-year-old son Jackson with her as she cast her ballot for Huckabee. "I like what he says - that he's a guy who'll work with you, he's not your boss," she told reporter Brigid Schulte. "I like his politics. I like his conservative stance. I'm afraid that McCain is just running on the war." Still, she conceded that Huckabee has only a "small chance" of winning the Republican nomination.
Janice Schell, 45, of Purcellville, a self-described conservative Christian, told Mummolo she voted for Huckabee even though she acknowledged his chances are slim. "I'll support John McCain if he gets the nomination. I guess it's just to make a statement."
In Reston this afternoon, McCain voter Pete Dickey joked to reporter Mike Laris that he "got lost" and went into the polling place "to get warm."
Dickey added: "I like [Sen. Barack] Obama (D-Ill.), but I don't think he knows what he's doing, and he wasn't in the Army and he didn't fight for his country. But McCain did, and so did I." Dickey is a retired Army sergeant who fought in the Korean War.
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