GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 has been looking into what Connecticut voters are thinking about the current campaign season. News 8’s Kent Pierce has been in five diners in five different towns.
Norm’s Diner is not actually on Route 1 in Groton, but you can see Route 1 out the window. More importantly, inside the diner, you can hear all kinds of opinion about what the candidates should be talking about
“We have a big community of 35,000 people, middle class people here, and they feel it,” said Norm’s Diner owner John Escada. “They can see when things are going bad and I can feel it in my diner.”
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At Norm’s, opinions are served up faster than the food.
“I just think they’re a bunch of liars from the beginning,” said Robert Britt, who work’s for the City of Groton’s Public Works Department. “They all say what you want to hear, but they run around the real questions.”
“I feel we have two terrible choices right now and I don’t feel we should have to vote for one to prevent the other from winning,” said Matt Tatro, who works at the sub base.
“Well, it’s become a crazy food fight,” said George McManus. “I’ve been voting since 1972, I’ve never seen any presidential election even close to this.”
That last statement is the educated opinion of a University of Connecticut professor. McManus teaches biology, but he’s worried about national security.
“I’m very concerned about the situation in the middle east,” McManus said. “It seems like it’s a breeding ground for terrorism, and that’s going to wind up on our shores at some point.”
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Groton is a submarine town, so folks here are always concerned about what’s happening on other shores. The massive sub base is a huge employer, so is Electric Boat, where they build the subs.
“They’ve taken so many people out of the military, out of the Army, and now our defense doesn’t have the numbers that it had at one time,” explained Dave Wheatley, who has worked at both. He served on a Navy submarine, then spent 36 years testing subs for Electric Boat. He’s retired now.
“But I have children, I have grandchildren, I have great grandchildren, and I want them to do well in this country.”
For Wheatley, that means one thing when it comes to secretary Clinton.
“Pretty much the only thing on my mind is that Hillary doesn’t win,” he said.
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Diner owner John Escada agrees.
“A lot of people in my diner feel the same way, they’re just tired of the same old nonsense of lies after lies,” said Escada. “We’ve had 8 years of democrats in office. I don’t see anything changing in the future with Hillary Clinton becoming our next president. I think it is time for a change.”
While Donald Trump represents change, some wonder, what kind of change?
“You hear Trump talking about how he’s going to get all these jobs, but he doesn’t really tell us how he’s going to do it,” said Westbrook resident Pat Hemmingway.
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Pat and his wife Dorothy were visiting Norm’s for the first time. They said they would like to hear the candidates address real issues.
“The gotcha thing. I gotcha with this one, and I’m tired of that,” explained Dorothy. “I’m tired of listening to it.”
McManus, the professor, has a scientific theory about Trump’s popularity.
“I think you see people identify a lot with a certain individual as a celebrity and then they’re not paying attention to what that person is really saying or doing,” he said.
Now that News 8 has spent 5 days on the Post Road, there are just 39 days left until the election.