MANKATO — Free Press staff writers fanned out in Mankato-North Mankato Tuesday to gauge the tenor of voters’ sentiments on the presidential race. Here’s what people said:
Kim Bergman and Karen Svenby left Holy Rosary Catholic Church in North Mankato within minutes of each other Tuesday afternoon after casting opposite votes for the president, but the same votes for Minnesota’s constitutional amendments.
“I voted for Romney because he was the lesser of two evils,” Bergman said.
Svenby said it was negative advertisements and name calling that turned her away from Romney.
“I think Obama is more honest,” she said.
Two young military veterans came to Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato, motivated exclusively by the presidential election.
“I just think he’s (Obama) done a good job of getting us out of war,” said Erik Elgin, 26, who voted for George W. Bush in 2004 but felt Bush lost focus on the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.
“The Bush administration should have put a priority on killing Osama bin Laden. They didn’t do it in eight years. (Obama) did it in two.”
Jason Gross, 30, said the 9/11 terrorist attacks played a role in his decision to join the military. Obama’s success in targeting al-Qaeda and killing bin Laden, plus his efforts to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, were important to him.
“That kind of helps a lot of vets that were over there, knowing they were there for a purpose,” Gross said of al-Qaeda’s decline.
Tyler Johnson and Alicia Edstrom said human rights issues were at the heart of their decisions at the ballot box.
“The marriage amendment was something we obviously got out here for,” Edstrom said. “Minnesota Nice: Vote ‘No’ twice.”
Johnson said he’s not thrilled with everything Obama’s done in his first term.