In a totally random and completely unscientific poll conducted last Thursday, Oct. 21, outside the Centrewood Plaza Giant Foods store, Centre View asked area residents who they were voting for in the upcoming presidential election.
A surprisingly large number of people declined to answer, wishing to keep their decision private. But those who did chose George Bush over John Kerry, by a margin of nearly 2-1.
OF THE total number who responded — including people from other counties — the "vote" was Bush, 11 and Kerry, 5. Tallying only Centreville, Chantilly and Fair Lakes residents, the totals were Bush, 6, Kerry, 3 and undecided, 1. Below are their comments:
Retired Army Sgt. Major Hal Glassman of Post Corners Apartments in Centreville is firmly behind the president. "Bush is a terrific president," he said. I like his policies — especially his foreign policy — and I don't agree with Kerry's liberalism."
Bob Wall of Manassas also likes Bush "because I think he's much stronger, honest and more truthful than Kerry." And Centreville's Karen Weed of Heritage Forest chooses Bush because "the country would be in a lot of trouble if we had a president that has to be a commander-in-chief who has publicly denounced the U.S. position in any military effort."
However, Blake Downs of Centreville's Crofton Commons community is voting for Kerry. "I just don't like Bush," he said. "I don't like the way he's handling the Middle East situation. And I didn't like the way he handled himself in the debates. I think Kerry upstaged him. I was undecided until then, and I think that swung my vote toward Kerry."
Sharon Filmer of Manassas wants Bush "primarily because, at this point, we need to keep the same president in position to finish what he started — particularly the war." Tom Rodgers of Herndon also spoke his mind in Bush's favor.
"I don't want the country to go to hell," he said. "I think Kerry just wants to forget about Sept. 11. I think any kind of early pullout is going to be seen by people like Osama Bin Laden as us giving in."
Claudia Smallwood of Centreville's Chalet Woods community believes "Bush will do the best. Top priority for us is security and terrorism, and I think if we don't take care of that, we won't be able to take care of the economy." And Steve Ritter of Broad Run in Prince William County says, "I agree with Bush, in general, more than with Kerry."
Ms. Burns of Centreville's London Towne community declined to give her first name, but not her views. She's "not sure, yet" who'll get her vote. "I don't want to vote for Bush because I think the economy has suffered because of some poor decisions he has made," she said. "And I don't think the war was justified."
"BUT I LIKE his morals and values in maintaining the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman and not letting the states decide," she continued. As for Kerry, said Burns, "I love what he's doing with the middle class and the fact that he'd be cutting taxes."
Spencer Brown of Manassas is for Bush "because I don't trust Kerry to support the troops. I'm a Vietnam vet, and I wouldn't vote for that S.O.B. if he were the only one on the ballot." Mei Lai of Fair Lakes disagrees. "I like all of Kerry's opinions, especially about how to decrease the deficit," she said. "And I think Bush did too much military spending on Iraq."
Also for Kerry is Mohammed Haji of Centreville's Cabell's Mill community. "Kerry might do something better for the country, economy-wise," he explained. "And I think he'll be a better president than Bush — for a lot of reasons."
Debbie Balancia of Centreville's Victoria View community is voting for Bush. "I think he's the better man, and I agree with more Republican policies than with Democratic liberal policies," she said. "I think Kerry and his wife are unfit to represent our country; I believe they're very elitist in their appearances. I think that Kerry knows no bounds and he's an unscrupulous person."
Another Bush supporter is Brigitte La Froth of Virginia Run. "My husband is retired military, my dad fought in Vietnam and I just believe the military needs our support over there," she said.
But Jen Shell of Middletown in Frederick County says Kerry is clearly the better choice. "He's got a lot of different views," she said. "I agree more with him. He's going to bring our soldiers back, and I think he would brighten our horizons and give us more options and less taxes."
Leoda Fleming of Chantilly's Brookfield community will vote for Bush "because I'm a Republican and I like Bush. I'm a conservative person, and I like his conservative ways." But Oakton's Kim Romano strongly disagrees and will be casting her vote for Kerry.
"I just think we need change," she explained. "I think Bush was just a puppet — did what he was told. He didn't have his own guts. I voted for Bush and I've been disappointed. I'm so over him."