A recent poll from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute showed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leading her Republican rival, Donald Trump, by double digits in New Jersey.
But not every town in New Jersey is as blue as the state.
Zoom in on politically divided Washington Township in Gloucester County, about half an hour’s drive from Philadelphia and the election day outlook could be much different.
WHYY stopped by a 5K race there on Sunday to ask local voters what they thought about this year’s presidential race.
“I’m not really thrilled about either of the candidates honestly. It’s almost to the point where it’s like anyone else besides these two,” said resident Joe Woyciechowski.
“I don’t have a good feeling about [Clinton],” he said, “but I know that [Trump] would not be [a good leader].”
Undecided voter Joe Woyciechowski, with his daughter. (Bastiaan Slabbers for NewsWorks)
Like Woyciechowski, the Washington Township electorate has waffled between Democratic and Republican candidates in the last two presidential elections.
Barack Obama pulled off a victory there in 2008 by only 245 votes, less than one percent of the 25,385 votes cast.
In 2012 Washington Township voters chose Republican Mitt Romney by a 119-vote margin.
For many people, this year is no different.
“Sadly I think we’re doomed no matter what,” said Tanya Hogan, who is originally from Washington Township.
Washington Township native Tanya Hogan. (Bastiaan Slabbers for NewsWorks)
Hogan said she soured on both Clinton and Trump as the campaign progressed, so much so that she doesn’t even know if she will vote on November 8th.
“I’ll decide the morning of the election absolutely,” she said. “I feel it’s important to vote, but right now I don’t feel I have anybody to vote for.”
But other voters at the race had their minds made up, like Joe Powell from nearby Cherry Hill.
Trump supporter Joe Powell. (Bastiaan Slabbers for NewsWorks)
“I think the Clintons are crooks, to be perfectly honest with you. There’s always a scandal around them and they always get away with it,” he said.
Powell said that Trump is a strong alternative to Clinton, who strikes him as untrustworthy and elitist. “I’m not a college graduate,” said Powell. “Clinton made fun of me. So, you know, I don’t need that.”
Sheral Jackson, a registered Democrat, said she wanted to support Trump at first. “I was like, ‘Oh! Not a politician! Let’s try that.'”
She was dissuaded, however, by Trump’s comments about women and her fear that Trump would not be able to get along with world leaders. Jackson will be voting for Clinton.
Sheral Jackson says she’ll vote for Clinton. (Bastiaan Slabbers for NewsWorks)
But Jackson’s biggest takeaway this year was not that there were political divisions, but that the country had become politically divisive.
“Oh my gosh, the Facebook, like I just kinda pass through it, pass through it. Because it’s really getting ugly,” said Jackson. “My own family — we got into this thing. And I was like, ‘I didn’t call you names!’ I was like, ‘back off!’ It’s ugly. And I don’t remember that ever being so.”