- - Tuesday, October 20, 2020

If you listen to most mainstream media outlets, you would think there is no hope for President Trump in the 2020 election. He’s constantly double digits behind in polling, regardless of the fact that we see massive boat parades, car parades and standing-room-only rallies everywhere he goes.

Over the past two months, I took it upon myself to travel flyover country and the north, spanning Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas and North Dakota. Throughout my journey I spoke with residents and business owners about the election, who they’re voting for and where they see things going in the 2020 election. What came of two conversations in particular will bring a little bit of perspective to those polls.

The first conversation that stood out to me was at a barbershop in Excelsior, Minnesota — a town with the population of about 2,500 about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis. While getting my hair cut, I struck up a conversation with the barber and patrons. Of the residents there, three had been polled about the presidential election, and the barber said that both he and his wife had received separate phone calls. All — every one of them — told me that they told the pollster that they were voting for Joe Biden, when they are voting for Mr. Trump. Why would they do this? According to all of them, for the safety of their family.

Each person in the barbershop stated that they knew the George Floyd riots were caused by the left and each said they were afraid that if they said that they were Trump voters, violence or being canceled could happen to them.  The barbershop owner in particular stated that he was, “well aware of cancel culture …” and worried he would be slammed on online ratings, and people would try to destroy his decades-old business based on his support of the president — so he lied to protect his livelihood.

The second conversation that stood out to me was with my Uber driver just outside of Dallas, Texas. My driver was an immigrant from Nigeria to America nearly 20 years ago and an immigrant from New York City to a suburb of Dallas just last month. I asked the father of four what he thought about the election and he said that, where he once was a Democrat, he would never vote Democratic again because of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s shutting down of the state and city. He used his stimulus money and extra unemployment from the federal government to uproot his family and move across the country for “… half the rent, no state income tax, and the ability to work.”

He added that where he voted Democratic in the past and “never liked Trump,” he now realizes that Democratic policy hurt him and his ability to live the American dream, and he “couldn’t imagine voting for Biden.”

These two conversations, one with five people in a barbershop in Minnesota and another with an immigrant from Africa who never liked Mr. Trump are just the tip of the iceberg. In each of more than 50 conversations I’ve had since being on the road, I’ve asked if any person knew someone who voted for then-candidate Trump in 2016 who was not going to vote for him in 2020, the answer was always no. I’d follow up by asking if each person knew someone who didn’t vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 but are voting for him in 2020, the answer was always yes — and additionally it was almost always multiple people.

In one instance in Louisville, Kentucky, the next-door neighbors of a man who I spoke with who were Mexican immigrants, asked him for information on where to go to register to vote, since they had never done so in America. He interjected that he asked them why they decided to vote in this election and the mother of the family replied, “To vote for Trump.” They later added a Trump sign to their front yard.

The silent majority is alive, well and growing in America — and they are staying silent or flat-out lying because they’re afraid they’ll be attacked or canceled by the left if they speak out. Although my reach isn’t great as just one person traveling and speaking to people alone around the country, I believe what I’m seeing is a microcosm of America in this election cycle.

Why would someone risk their life’s work or their family’s safety for a simple answer to a phone poll? Sure, I could be wrong, but you should ask yourselves the same questions I asked the folks I spoke with: Do you personally know someone who voted for President Trump in 2016 who isn’t voting for him now? And do you personally know someone who didn’t vote for President Trump who is voting for him this time around?

The answers to those questions are more telling than any CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Washington Post or New York Times poll.

• Tim Young is a political comedian and author of “I Hate Democrats/I Hate Republicans” (Post Hill Press).

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