Nightly News | January 08, 2012
>> new hampshire is well known for its fiercely guarded independence, perhaps best illustrated by the state motto , live free or die . voters there, many of them, proudly independent, work as hard getting to know the candidates as the kennecandidates work to earn their support. ron mott spent some time with them.
>> reporter: former state lawmaker frank tupper grabbed his coffee, pen and paper for the debate and watched with a critical eye.
>> fact checked.
>> reporter: not expecting to be swayed by much of anything he heard and he wasn't.
>> they all seem to be cookie cutter to me.
>> reporter: an obama supporter four years ago, he's like nearly half of the registered voter , he's an independent and still undecided about tuesday's election.
>> let's be honest with ourselves.
>> he has a lot of gall coming up here and being in a debate when he hasn't even campaigned here.
>> reporter: this line from jon huntsman earned his sparse praise.
>> i will always put my country first and i think that's important.
>> before party, i like it.
>> reporter: largely dissatisfied with the current gop field and disappointed with the president's record, he says he's left wanting.
>> i'm looking for somebody who would be a leader, who would be able to call upon this country, because we're in some real dire straits right now.
>> reporter: he and other voters here say there is a disconnect between campaign rhetoric and reality, especially in a down economy.
>> i don't know that any one of them can say there will be jobs for these young people . they can say it. will it happen?
>> it is easy to run for president. hard to be president.
>> my oldest daughter, people say what are you going to do when you graduate, she said, be unemployed and that's the way she feels.
>> reporter: it could be difficult for any of the candidates to be president without catering more to independent voters like tupper and his friends.
>> this state is divided because of attitudes like that.
>> reporter: and pointed to exchanges like the one between mitt romney and huntsman over huntsman's work with the obama administration as a turnoff.
>> this is america and we're struggling. it requires everybody, no matter what political party you are. i'm tired of obstructionists. i'm just tired of that.
>> reporter: unlike the voters we met with today, nine in ten say they have settled on a candidate here in new hampshire.