Local voters, politicians sound off on Democratic debate

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Both political parties in Montgomery County held watch parties Tuesday night during the Democratic presidential debate at Otterbein University.

Some Democrats and Republicans who spoke with 2 NEWS expressed interest in several of the same issues, including the economy and health care.

“I would say health care is clearly an issue,” said Fred Burkhardt, a Republican voter. “I would say the economy.”

“Somebody who cares about health care,” said George Tempel, a Democratic voter. “Somebody who’s interested in jobs. There is so much to do that we need to do.”

Voters on both sides told 2 NEWS they are fired up nearly a year away from the 2020 presidential election. Officials and party leaders in Montgomery County said they’re seeing that enthusiasm firsthand.

“I think if you had asked us a few months, a year ago, we’d be a little hesitant, about saying that Ohio is going to be there for our Democratic candidate,” said Montgomery County Treasurer Russ Joseph, a Democrat. “I think we’re feeling that movement now, and people are ready for a change.”

“A lot of people are silent still, but they’ll whisper to you that they support Trump, and don’t underestimate them,” said state Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton).

The county’s Democratic party hosted voters in downtown Dayton Tuesday night, and Republicans gathered at a party in Riverside.

With this debate being held in Ohio, several voters and officials told 2 NEWS they believe it’s a reminder of how crucial the Buckeye State is during a presidential race.

“There’s a huge groundswell of volunteerism and commitment to do what’s right,” said Barb Bayliff, a Democratic voter.

“It’s really going to be a turnout election,” said state Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg). “If you don’t like the president, you’re going to vote against him. If you like the president, you’re going to vote for him. So it really matters who comes out to the polls.”

Both parties in Montgomery County regularly host watch parties for presidential debates, according to organizers.

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