The state of New Hampshire could prove pivotal in both the presidential election and the battle to control the US Senate. But in the town of Derry, the dominant feeling isn’t excitement. It's exhaustion.

Mary Ann’s Diner, in Derry's downtown, is a regular destination for presidential aspirants—and the place where Mitt Romney pretended to be goosed by a waitress during the last presidential race.

After the long slog of the 2016 campaign, Christina Andreoli, Mary Ann’s general manager, says that lighthearted moment feels a world a way.

"That was something everyone could laugh at, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. It was just a real moment, a person being a person," she says.

"This campaign just seems like it’s constant jabs. It’s always somebody defending or harassing themselves. There’s no lightness to it."

That sentiment seems to extend to Mary Ann’s customers.

"This was one of the hardest races that I remember in a long, long time with the infighting, and the politics of it all," says Trump supporter Kathy Smelser.

Jerry Fortin is backing Trump, too—but with more gallows humor than enthusiasm.

"If Hillary gets in, nothing’s going to change," he says. "And if Trump gets in, we might be in a third world war.

"So," he laughs, "there isn’t a hell of a lot of choice."

Still, there are occasional glimmers of optimism. Gun shop owner Al Bacon's yard is packed with signs urging Second Amendment devotees to back Trump—and Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, who’s trying to fend off a challenge from Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan. 

Bacon calls this election cycle the “roughest” he’s seen. But he imagines a Trump victory healing a demoralized nation.  

"If Donald Trump does win I think it’ll do some healing," he says. "What my dad taught me is when the home is happy, when you can acquire or get a job or do the things you can dream of, you’re more at rest."

Right across the street, lawyer Kathryn McCarroll expects Hassan to prevail—and thinks a Clinton win would help bring the country together.

"Right now, people are having a hard time even looking their neighbor in the eye," McCarroll says. "I think it’ll take a bit of time. Peace will prevail after a while."

Back at Mary Ann’s, though, there are limits to that hopefulness.  

"I’m scared for it to be done," Andreoli says. "Honestly, I don’t know what we’re looking at Wednesday morning.

"It’s far from over. This is just going to linger and linger for as long as it will, which is not going to be short term, I’m sure."