RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — What North Carolina voters had to say as they visited the polls Tuesday:
Jim Newman, 28, of Concord, says he voted for Mitt Romney. He said he made up his mind after Romney's performance in the first debate. Newman said he voted for Obama in 2008, but the web designer said he is switching his vote because the economy is still struggling.
"I'm lucky. I have my own business. But I have a lot of friends who have been unable to find work."
"I thought the economy would turn around. It just hasn't."
Alicia Hernandez, 31, of Charlotte, voted for Obama. The elementary school teacher says it was a no-brainer. Republicans, especially Romney, have turned off Hispanic voters with tough talk about illegal immigration, she said. Meanwhile, Obama has reached out to the Latino community.
"President Obama is really trying. At every turn, the Republicans have tried to stop him. They said no to health care. They said no to financial reforms."
Mike Henry, 43, of Charlotte, a financial analyst, says he voted for Romney. The reason: the massive budget deficits.
"They (politicians) keep spending and spending and running up trillions in deficits. And who's going to pay that debt? Our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. We need politicians who are going to go in there and clean up the mess."
He's married with two children and says he's struggled over the last four years. At one point he was unemployed. But he said that he was lucky because his wife is a lawyer. "She kept us going when I was out of work."
Jerome Gantt, 34, of Holly Springs voted for President Barack Obama in 2012 after voting for Republican John McCain in 2008 in part because McCain had a better economic plan and in part because he didn't want to see the first black president thrown into such a bad economic situation. The employee at a pharmaceutical company thinks Obama earned another four years to get the country on a better track.
"Even if Obama wins, I won't go out celebrating tonight," Gantt said. "We won't win until four years from now when we can see what the results are of his actions."
Robert Dan Perry, 64, has been waiting for Election Day in 2012 even since seeing President Barack Obama win in 2008.
"I've been waiting for four years to cast this vote," said Perry, who picked Republican Mitt Romney.