South Carolina Radio Network took to the streets to talk to a random (but not scientific) sample of citizens willing to comment on the U.S. government shutdown. We wanted to know what they thought about past two weeks of stalemates and how it affects their 2014 votes.
The comments from around the state revealed a general frustration with Washington politics. Here are a few from the dozens of people willing to talk.
Donna, a cashier in North Charleston said, “I have two grandchildren in the military and I figure if my grandson is going to die doing what he is doing in Afghanistan, somebody up there in Washington better get their crap together–and they just don’t.”
Ann Marie Triplett in Greenville: “We’re not getting enough change up there. It just seems to be the same old things playing out again and again, over and over with party politics. Not a lot of movement, there’s not a lot of cohesion.”
Jack in Charleston characterized Congress as “A bunch of self-centered clods who don’t really have the interests of the country at heart”
Carlene Heath, a Rock Hill area business owner said: “I am a conservative, so I was glad that the Republicans were holding out for some things, although I think tying Obamacare in with it was a big mistake on their part.”
About a third of the folks we talked to thought they had been affected in some way, while most expressed a sense of powerlessness with the situation.
Sam, a rapper in Columbia: I’ve pretty much got it now that they’re going to do whatever they want to do, so to me, I’m totally not interested right now, unless somebody comes out local.”
Michael in Charleston: “I don’t trust government to begin with. You can vote all you want, they’re going to do it their way.”
Almost everyone we spoke with, however, said they were not likely to change their votes in 2014.
Joan, a realtor out of Columbia, on whether this will change her vote next year: “If I am to believe all the hype and all the character assassination and all the finger pointing coming from out of Washington and all the news media I would say, yes it might. But no, probably not.”
Rich in the Upstate town of Moore praised 4th District Congressman Trey Gowdy, who voted against the bipartisan deal, for “doing what we sent him up there to do.”
“In this area, most of us are going to already have our minds made up about what we’re doing. It may make a difference in the U.S. Senator’s race, but as far as our Congresspeople, I am really thrilled with what they’ve been doing.”
Ben, an unemployed worker in Columbia, said he was impressed with what he saw in Lindsey Graham: “I like him, I think he’s got a mind of his own, he ain’t just a follower, he thinks for himself.”
John, a food service worker in Charleston said he would vote the same, “but it makes me more alert of how people are trying to do things and trying to project their image and what they want to do without even listening to each other.”
Chris Myers, a part-time worker at Frito-Lay in Rock Hill believes that Washington was not going to let the economy collapse and says he will still vote Democrat in 2014.