A town divided: Clinton during election season

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CLINTON  -- Along Connecticut’s shoreline, the serenity in the town of Clinton, along with its close-knit neighborhoods and rich history are a few reasons people are proud to call the town home.

Those living in Clinton have so much pride and display of unity, there's even a store, where people can buy Clinton products.

However this year, an election year, there's division in town and it’s clearly spelled out. “We have a lot of shirts that just say, “Clinton,” across the chest, but, a lot of people came in and wanted us to add Connecticut to it,” said Town Pride owner, Christine Elder.

Some people want it known, they're supporting the town, named after New York’s sixth governor, Dewitt Clinton, not Hillary Clinton.

The owner of “Clinton Barbershop,” put up plenty of pro-Donald Trump signs before heading west, where he spends part of the year. It leaves his barbers to deal with the perpetual political powwow.  “I don’t get involved in it. Whatever you like, I like,” said barber, Tony D’Amato.

Most of the talk is from a primarily, anti-Clinton clientele. “We’ve got to do better,” said Donald Trump supporter, David Reemsnyder.

They talk freely about their love for Trump and why his opponent won’t cut it. “I’m not looking for the Pope, Moses or Jesus or a rabbi or a priest,” said Trump supporter, Max Sabrin. “I feel it's time for someone new, some fresh thinking.  He's an outsider and as he says, he needs to go in there and drain the swamp,” said Trump supporter, Bob Nolin. “I don’t work for Wall Street. You are my boss. I like that message, I really like it,” said Trump supporter, Brian Lawrence.

Outside the barbershop, this conversation about the candidates continues to pour over into table talk at a local diner. “Before he even ran, he was so awful to Rosie O’Donnell,” said Clinton supporter, Jane Scully-Welch. “I’m nervous,” said another Clinton supporter, Tom Welch.

Although nervous, Clinton supporters in town aren’t biting their tongues about why they support the democratic presidential candidate. “It’s her experience,” said Jack Scheiban. “Her determination, her intelligence,” said another Clinton supporter, Harriet Juel.

While much of the conversation is about Clinton, her supporters also talk about their disdain for Trump.

“I'm scared to death we can wake up and have Donald Trump as our president,” said Alyson Roberts.
“I just saw a picture of Melania on an airplane with a thong and a gun. There’s our first lady,” said Scully-Welch.

This isn't the first time an election has divided the town. A longtime democratic first selectman lost to his republican opponent by one vote last year.

Knowing that every vote counts, Clinton supporters have tried to outdo the competition. President Bill Clinton visited when he was running in the 90's, so they wanted to get the former first lady in town to drum up support. “We were hoping we'd get her here,” said Roberts.

“Will she come? Has Clinton come to Clinton? I hope not,” said Nolin.

However, what they all hope for is a return to unity in town, with both Clinton and Trump supporters saying they’ve been so close, yet so far apart for too long. “We're all Americans, when are we going to start acting like that?” asked Nolin.

Since Bill Clinton’s run for president in 1992, majority of voters in Clinton have supported a democratic presidential candidate. However, it was close in 1992.  The town was divided in ‘92 as well. Only thirty votes separated Clinton and George H.W. Bush in the town.