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Cafe Election Reports: Halfway, Missouri

In the past few weeks, we've been sending reporters to cafes in nearby small towns to get a feel for how small-town Ozarks residents are viewing this year's elections. KSMU's Kristian Kriner traveled to Halfway, Missouri, to talk politics in the only cafe in town.
We traveled forty-five minutes down State Highway H and then made the sharp right turn onto Highway 32, which took us right into to downtown Halfway. Halfway’s population stands at 176 people.
There’s one post office, one school and one place to eat.
Halfway Central is the name given to a gas station with a restaurant in it.
It has snack foods and drinks up front and a small café with pizza and sandwiches in the back.
Sitting in the back of Halfway Central was Tom, a middle aged man enjoying a mid-morning cup of coffee.
We asked him how he felt about presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, but Tom wanted to talk about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin first.
He says Sarah Palin is a good choice for vice president because she’s a fresh face in Washington.
“I like the gal from Alaska; she’s my kind of woman. She’s never been in Washington; she’s never been in the White House. They’ve kind of given her a hard time, but she’s my pick,” Tom said.
Tom says if he had to choose a presidential candidate it would be John McCain.
“McCain is like me. I admire the man, but he might be too old like myself and I don’t know about Obama. I try to vote for the person instead of the party, so I guess you’d call me an Independent,” Tom said.
He says his choice for governor of Missouri is Jay Nixon because Nixon stopped some gas companies from price gouging.
We crossed the two lane street to visit the only post office in Halfway.
Sonia Hosiner was the only person working in the post office that day.
She says she doesn’t know which candidate she’s going to vote for on Election Day.
“I’m not really much into the politics. I don’t listen a whole lot to it. I just kind of when it’s time I try to gather the information then and vote for who I think. If it’s not the community here I don’t pay much attention,” Hosiner said.
Hosiner says politics are not her first priority and that seemed to be the case with other Halfway residents.
Back at Halfway Central, Merle Robedeaux was sitting a picnic table outside enjoying the warm, sunny weather.
Robedeaux says he doesn’t follow politics, but he doesn’t like either presidential candidate.
“They’re candidates, no matter which way we go we’re going to get screwed. That’s just the way it works,” Robedeaux said.
He says he has heard a few things about Sarah Palin and he thinks McCain made the right decision when he chose her as his running mate.
Right as we were about to leave, the lunch crowd pulled into Halfway Central and we found one man who had a strong opinion about the presidential election.
Halfway resident Larry says he doesn’t like McCain because he would be the same as President George W. Bush.
But Larry says he also won’t be voting for Obama because he says he could never vote for a black man.
He says he does like candidate for Governor Jay Nixon because of his record as Attorney General.
“Jay Nixon, yeah I prefer Jay Nixon. I think he would be a lot better. For one thing he got all the no call, phone soliciting. He got all that stopped, so I think he is kind of looking out for everybody,” Larry said.
Residents of Halfway will be casting their votes at the local school on November 4th.
For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.