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Domestic Politics: When Couples Are Divided Along Party Lines


During this primary season, we've been hearing from couples split over which presidential candidate to vote for. One couple in Omaha, Neb., responded to our callout on social media and told us they're not just split between candidates but also between parties.

MARIA JULIE RODRIGUEZ: I'm Maria Julie Rodriguez. I live here in Omaha, and I'm a graphic designer for an animal health company.

JAMES BORER: I'm James Borer. I work as an MRI technologist at Nebraska Medicine. I'm 32.


BORER: We actually are just engaged. Our marriage will be in June this year.


RODRIGUEZ: So we've known each other since - what? - 20...

BORER: Twelve, I believe.


BORER: She was a single Latina, so I figured she was probably a little more liberal than I was, but...

RODRIGUEZ: We are completely opposites for religion and politics. He's Catholic, and I'm actually atheist.

BORER: Out of the candidates we have, I would like Rubio.

RODRIGUEZ: I'm going Bernie, Bernie Sanders.


RODRIGUEZ: I have been contributing small amounts to the Bernie Sanders campaign. I've been looking for volunteer opportunities as well.

BORER: I'm not as involved in ra-ra, get out and really support. I just like Rubio and - the son of immigrants and his passion for his religion, and he doesn't seem to alienate the other side as much, which is nice.


RODRIGUEZ: I'm actually from Mexico. I came here as an illegal immigrant, as well as my parents. I didn't actually become a citizen until I was 14 years old, so I suppose that when I hear people speak about immigration, and you know - send them back, I would look at that and say, well, that was me, actually.


BORER: I would like to see the flow of illegal immigration slowed or stopped, and then we can deal with the folks here. I'm not Trump. I don't want to send them home, but I would like to try to help who's here and, after that, find a more manageable way to let people in.

RODRIGUEZ: When I hear stricter border control, I keep thinking - I'm like, that's not necessarily going to work. There's a lot of issues that are driving people out of their country. People don't leave because they feel like it. You know, they're fleeing from something.

BORER: I like to talk about this stuff. I talk about it a little more clinically.

RODRIGUEZ: On my end, I get too passionate about it, and so I'd - I would rather avoid it.

BORER: Through the years, we've learned what we can talk about, how we can talk about it and for how long we can do that.

RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, when to drop it. I mean, if we can get through this, then I think we'll be set for when we get married.

MCEVERS: Thanks to Maria Julie Rodriguez and James Borer in Nebraska. And if you are in a divided house, get in touch with us on Twitter @npratc or email nprcrowdsource@npr.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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