visits southern New Hampshire, urges supporters to vote
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[December 29, 2015]
By Emily Flitter
NASHUA, N.H. (Reuters) - Republican U.S.
presidential frontrunner Donald Trump urged supporters on Monday to
carry their enthusiasm into voting booths, citing recent news reports
questioning whether he can turn his polling strength into victories in
key primary states.
New Hampshire residents will be the first Americans to cast votes
in the 2016 presidential primaries, where a candidate is chosen from
each party to stand in the general presidential election. New
Hampshire's primary is set for Feb. 9.
"We have got to get out and vote, remember that, folks, no matter
what's going on in your life," Trump said in an hour-long speech to
roughly 1,000 people at a rally in a middle school gymnasium in
"I was watching today television and they said 'well if those people
actually get out and vote ...'," he said, noting that attendance at
his rallies has been strong for months. "They said, 'well if they
vote, Trump wins'."
The New York businessman is ahead in polls of most early primary
states but he is now neck-and-neck with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in
Iowa, which holds its primary caucus - a different format from an
election - on Feb. 1.
A New York Times report on Dec. 20 said Trump's "ground game" isn't
as strong as some of his rivals. This refers to the network of paid
staffers and volunteers each candidate must build to ensure his or
her supporters make it to the polls on election day.
Political analysts have also pointed out that many Trump supporters
are people who don't habitually participate in elections or have
never voted before.
Lee Rogers, 37, who attended Monday's rally and lives in nearby
Londonderry, New Hampshire, was one such Trump fan. He said he
hadn't voted in eight years. His last choice for president was the
Republican Ron Paul, a libertarian from Texas who has long advocated
abolishing the U.S. Federal Reserve.
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Rogers said he wouldn't be voting this time if Trump wasn't running.
"I think everybody except for Trump is a complete clown," he said.
The crowd in the sparsely populated northeastern state was smaller
than those Trump has attracted in other cities. However, so many
people had still come to see him on Monday that he held a second,
"overflow" rally immediately after the first to accommodate those
who were shut out but waited for more than an hour in other parts of
the school to see him.
(Reporting by Emily Flitter; Editing by Paul Tait)
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