Booker hits the campaign trail in New Hampshire

LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) Campaign 2020 is already in full swing in New Hampshire.

Friday, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker was in our region as he continues his quest for the Democratic nomination for president. Our Adam Sullivan spoke with Booker and voters who told him what they are looking for in a candidate.

At a crowded pub for an early morning campaign event, hundreds of Granite Staters turned out to hear New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker on the stump at Salt Hill in Lebanon.

"We may define ourselves by different labels, religion or race or even political party, but when we understand that there is common ground and common cause in this country, great things get accomplished," Booker said.

The former Newark mayor and current presidential candidate spoke less about specific policy, instead, focusing on broad topics like bringing people together. His pitch appealed to many in the audience.

"I am very much undecided who I am voting for but I do think that being able to de-escalate this partisanship arms race is going to be a big factor in my vote," said Hayden Smith of Hanover.

Booker is part of a crowded field of Democrats. Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke is the latest to announce. There are at least 10 others vying for the party nomination. Recent polls have Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at the top of the pack, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, even though Biden has not yet said whether he plans to run.

WCAX News spoke with several voters who said beating President Donald Trump is their main priority when it comes to picking a candidate.

"Probably not someone who is too far left. I mean, personally, I would like to see a very progressive president but I think we need to be realistic," said Simon Herron of Hanover.

But others who showed up to hear Booker speak said they plan to vote with their hearts.

"I'm not going to let Trump make me vote for somebody that I think is going to win and beat him but doesn't abide by all of my principles and my beliefs," said Mary Jane Mulligan of Hanover.

Booker supported Hillary Clinton last time around. He says New Hampshire is critical for his campaign's success.

Sen. Cory Booker: I plan on working really hard to earn voters' support.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: How do you separate yourself from the field?
Sen. Cory Booker: I think that who I am is different. I'm a guy who ran a tough city and was able to create tremendous turnaround. In the Senate, I've got a record for passing big pieces of legislation that make a real difference to folks here in New Hampshire.

Booker had another scheduled stop in Claremont before he gets on a plane for Iowa. Meanwhile, a handful of other presidential hopefuls will be making their rounds in the Granite State this weekend.