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Voting for Trump a religious matter for some New Hampshire fans

  • Donna Catteau, of Salem, holds a “Women for Trump” sign at a Trump rally in Atkinson on Friday. — By CAITLIN ANDREWS

  • From left: Walter Rollins, Mark Smith and Don Skerry attend a Donald Trump rally in Atkinson four days before Election Day. CAITLIN ANDREWS / Monitor staff

  • Marc Hopkins and Taylor Pacifico attend a Donald Trump rally in Atkinson four days before Election Day. —By CAITLIN ANDREWS

  • Lou Deprizio attends a Donald Trump rally in Atkinson four days before Election Day. —By CAITLIN ANDREWS

  • Jenna Whalen and her daughter Samantha attend a Donald Trump rally in Atkinson four days before Election Day. —By CAITLIN ANDREWS

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges supporters during a campaign rally Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges supporters during a campaign rally Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges supporters during a campaign rally Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

  • Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump look on during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump say the Pledge of Allegiance during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listen to him speak during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hold signs during a campaign rally, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Atkinson, N.H. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci



Monitor staff
Friday, November 04, 2016

With just a few days left before Election Day 2016, the New Hampshire Republican Party was pulling out all the stops for Donald Trump.

Present at a Friday rally in Atkinson were the party’s familiar faces and messages: Former Sen. Bob Smith urged the crown to continue to recruit voters to support Trump. Kate Quigley, sister of Benghazi victim Glen Doherty, told the crowd that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s handling of the incident demonstrated her lack of character.

John Sununu, former New Hampshire governor and father of gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu, drew the strongest reaction as he entertained the crowd with questions such as, “Do you think when Bill Clinton said, ‘I did not have sex with that woman,’ he was talking about Hillary Clinton?” The comment then prompted someone in the crowd to shout, “Do you mean Bill the rapist?”

Trump also brought the key points his fans love: his promises to crack down on illegal immigration; to bring back jobs; and to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis by suspending the American program and building safe zones in the country, a point that caused someone in the crowd to yell out, “Hillary should pay for it!”

“That’s a statement that could only be made in New Hampshire,” Trump said.

Trump did not acknowledge Sununu’s comment, but mentioned Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who earlier in the week tweeted a comment containing an expletive against Clinton. The tweet was later deleted, and Miller’s office later said a staffer had retweeted a tweet they did not know was derogatory.

Although Trump supporters are firmly in their candidate’s corner at this stage, there was there was a touch of nervousness in the crowd about whether he would succeed.

“Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable with the way Americans might vote,” said Lou Deprizio, of North Andover, Mass. “I think the nation is very divided right now – you know the saying ‘united we stand, divided we fall?’ I think that’s gone out the window.”

Pondering the results of the election was a religious matter for some.

“I’m counting on God,” said Donna Catteau, of Salem. “I’m hoping for a miracle, since no one can really give us a clear idea of what’s going on.”

Mark Smith and Don Skerry, of Medfield, Mass. also said they were looking to religion as guidance.

“I started saying a rosary every day about a month ago, just asking that we elect the best president, whoever that may be,” Skerry said.

But alongside the nervousness was confidence that Trump would win in light of the FBI’s reopening of the Clinton email investigation.

“I think they’re underestimating how many people will come out,” said Marc Hopkins of Westford, Mass. His cousin, Taylor Pacificio, also of Westford, echoed the sentiment, saying she had been a fan of Trump “since she was in the womb,” and that many people are silently supporting Trump.

Still, members of the audience said they would accept the result of the election, as long as the results were legal.

“I won’t be happy about it, but I’ll accept it,” Deprizio said. “Throughout our history, our country has seen worse elections than this; this is a good one, but we’ve seen worse.”

Jenna Whalen, of Salem, who was present with her daughter Samantha, said Americans have a duty to support the president.

“I don’t agree with people who tear her apart because of the way she talks,” Whalen said. “I think she’s intelligent, very educated, and has experience, and I can’t take that away from her. I just think it’s bad experience . . . I’m not really against her, my views are not liberal. And the more I follow the email scandal, the more I believe she is corrupt.”

And while some spoke of family and friends who were supporting Clinton, they said the election wasn’t going to change their relationships.

“A lot of my women friends don’t support him, but we stay friends because they’re entitled to their opinion,” said Selma Apovian, of Salem. “I tell them they should vote for what they believe in, and what they want their country to offer them. That’s what they should do.”