BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As we plunge toward November with campaign season in full swing, Kern County Fair-goers have the midterm election on their minds.
“We all need to get out there and vote,” said Joseph Coutts. “So many of us are scared not to. ‘Oh, it doesn’t really matter.’ Yes it does, matter. Every vote does matter.”
Joseph Coutts of the Bakersfield Host Lions has lived in Kern County for over 40 years. He cites education and election security as the most important issues this November and notes he hopes to see former President Donald Trump run again in 2024.
“We are not building back better, we’re not having anything better,” Coutts said.
An NBC News poll released this week found 64 percent of respondents are very interested int his year’s upcoming midterm elections, an increase from midterms past. In California specifically, a recent statewide poll found the economy, inflation, homelessness and housing ranking as top on voters minds–something those in Kern County reiterated.
“The homelessness. I’d like the politicians quit spending money overseas spend it in our backdoor,” said Kathy Hill.
“I think that we need to address the people on the streets,” said Cari VanOsdol.
For Cari VanOsdol it’s a personal passion. She said she’s studying psychology to pursue a career in mental health to address the issue
“We need the funds to be able to provide mental health for these people to get them off the streets. I’m looking into doing just that,” Cari VanOsdol said.
The same poll by PPIC finding 69 percent of respondents favor proposition 1 which would make abortion rights part of the California constitution, something Coutts supports
“The woman should have the right to do with what she wants to do with her body,” Coutts said.
Meanwhile, for Rick VanOsdol, it’s green energy and California’s crippling drought at the top of the list …
“I know, they want to do electric cars by 2035. And I hope they have a plan to get a good infrastructure and, and the power to support that,” said Rick VandOsol.
Both Cari and Rick VanOsdol said the biggest issue facing the country is how divided people are. Coutts said he is really discouraged by the direction our country has gone since President Biden took office.
We’re seeing this across the country, an NBC poll in late August found 74 percent of respondents think we are headed in the wrong direction, and Kern voters are echoing that.