In Plymouth, Taking The Pulse Of The Republican Presidential Race03:17

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Plymouth usually votes Republican, but the historic Massachusetts coastal town about 50 miles south of Boston also voted for former Gov. Deval Patrick in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2012.

On a recent morning on Main Street, people walked in and out of the Kiskadee Coffee Company, some grabbing drinks and food to go, while others lingered or stayed to work.

Tammy May, an independent voter was among those getting work done in the coffee shop. She said she's voting for Donald Trump, because she wants to see him face Hillary Clinton in the general election.

"It's totally about the battle to me," May says. "I do just want to see the matchup. I want to see Hillary against Trump. I think it'll be absolutely fascinating. I love how he's played the game, because I'm a business woman myself. I'm a vice president of a technology company. I love how he's manipulated the media, his brand."

May said Americans played by all the rules, but their leaders allowed the meltdown of Wall Street, and she believes people like Trump, because he refuses to play by the rules. But come November, May said she may vote for Clinton, because she would like to see a woman president.

In recent polls, Trump leads by anything from 21 to 23 points in Massachusetts. The real race is for second place. Polls find John Kasich and Marco Rubio in a close contest.

Nationally, Rubio is gathering most of the endorsements.

Mary Beth Gallo, a Crossfit coach — but a mom first, she said — finds the Republican race entertaining. She is leaning toward voting for Rubio.

"He seems to be the least of a caricature, almost," Gallo said. "He seems to be a little more grounded."

Kasich is counting on Massachusetts to keep his candidacy alive so he can go on to edge out Rubio as the moderate alternative to Trump. He has his work cut out for him. A WBUR poll last week finds he does better among independent voters than Rubio, but independents can vote in either primary.

Take Max Sanders, a computer repairman, who came to Plymouth from Carver. He views himself as a moderate and called this year's Republican presidential race a circus. He likes Kasich.

"He's still pretty conservative, but comparatively to the rest of the party, he's more of the moderate," Sanders said. "He's just much more grounded. He's not all over the place."

But, Sanders said, he'll probably vote in the Democratic primary instead, for Bernie Sanders. He said he can get behind the rage against the government, but on the left.

This segment aired on February 29, 2016.


Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.