New Hampshire Primary Driven By ‘Passion,’ Sway Says

Dedicated volunteers inspire MTV News' Sway.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — After months of buildup, the people of New Hampshire finally came out to cast their vote today. I’ve had a great time over the past 24 hours talking to voters supporting just about every name on the ballot. I met a lot of really cool people and listened to why they voted and why they’ll do it again in November — even if their pick today doesn’t make the cut.

I met people who are volunteering for President Obama and walked around the crowded office in downtown Manchester where they are trying to keep Democrats in this notoriously independent state excited about supporting the commander in chief. A lot of them were college kids who are already on the ground making calls from phone banks, waving signs outside polling places and spending their winter break learning how political campaigns work and filling up the office’s “Why Are You In?” wall with their motivation to service.

I met one volunteer who came all the way from the U.K. just to support the Obama campaign, and at a rally for former Senator Rick Santorum , I sat down with a young man who drove in from Canada. He can’t vote, but it was important for him to just be here and participate in our political process.

I also met a couple of young ladies who were Santorum supporters, including Jordanne Anderson, who shot her first deer the other day and, like me, is also a big-game fisherman — she caught a 160-pound swordfish. She was very, very well-versed when it came to the political process and the candidate she wants to vote for.

What struck me about all of them was their passion. Whatever issue it was that drove them to the polls or to drive from three states over to knock on doors, make phone calls and wave signs, they were all in, even if they suspected their candidate wouldn’t end up on top when the polls closed.

We had a lot of good times here in Manchester, where I learned once again that the 45 million young voters in this country not only have a voice, they’re ready and eager to use it. I can’t wait to come back next time and stay on this political trail with the Power of 12 and hear what they have to say. You guys rule this generation.

MTV is on the scene in New Hampshire! Check back here around the clock for up-to-the-minute coverage on the primary caucuses, and stick with PowerOf12.org throughout the presidential election season.