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New Hampshire Voters Want Improved Economy

Americans are apt to vote when they want change. Republicans are counting on that in this year's election to unseat President Barack Obama. The nation's first primary voting takes place in New Hampshire on Tuesday, that's where the economy is motivating voters.

Betsy St. George owns the quaint St. George's Cafe in a tiny New Hampshire town. "I didn't go to cooking school, I went to the school of life," she said.

But tough economic times are cutting into her profits. "I haven't been able to pay myself for the last few years. I work 80 hours a week, seven days a week. But I love it. It's a good job," she said.

On Tuesday, St. George will join other New Hampshire residents to vote for a presidential nominee.

The candidates spend a lot of time here, because it's the first in a series of state primaries that choose a Republican Party nominee to run against President Barack Obama in November.

St. George's husband, Dave, an electrician, is out of work. He's unsure whom he'll vote for on Tuesday. "I want to see change. I want to see jobs. I want the country to take the lead again," he said.

Forty minutes away, in New Hampshire's biggest city Manchester, the high tech firm Auto Desk is thriving. Auto Desk moved into an old textile mill from America's past, but its software programs are all about the future.

As New Hampshire's top rated company to work for, Auto Desk employees develop 3D movies to show what projects will look like when completed - they are the 21st century real-time version of blueprints. Like this advanced animation of a California road near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Terry Bennett says public works projects like these produce jobs. "These issues that we have in New Hampshire, whether it's water systems, sewer systems, better roads is a problem that occurs everywhere," he said.

Jim Lynch is a vice president at Auto Desk. He knows what he wants in the nation's president. “Getting the country back to work is first and foremost," he said.

And jobs are clearly a focus for the candidates.

It's clear New Hampshire voters are most concerned about the economy. What they have to figure out now is which Republican candidate can best deal with it.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

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