Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley is biking the battleground states as part of an ongoing series, visiting 14 states in 14 days to hear what real Americans think of the 2020 election. All of her interviews may be found HERE.
LORAIN COUNTY, OHIO — Lorain County, located in the northeastern part of the state, may be home to only around 300,000.
But it could be an election bellwether just the same.
The ballot numbers over the past years have swung in some interesting ways. In 2008, the county voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama; 85,276 to John McCain’s 59,068. In 2012, again, it was Barack Obama; 81,464 to Mitt Romney’s 59,405.
In 2016, voters shifted.
The county was far less enthusiastic with the Democratic candidate and far more excited with the Republican.
Hillary Clinton only scored 66,949 to Donald Trump’s 66,818 votes. She won by 131 ballots.
So this November: Which way will they go?
Lorain County Republican Party chairman David Arredondo said the loss of manufacturing, steel and union jobs, combined with the stellar economy that marked Trump’s first few years in office have combined to bring about a lucrative opportunity for Republicans.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm for reelecting Trump,” he said, in a sit-down interview at Republican Party headquarters in the quiet county seat of Lorain.
And the thuggery in the streets ain’t helping Democrats any, he added.
“They’re scared,” he said of voters. “They’re scared of the chaos. They know the difference between protesting and violence.”
The law and order messaging of Team Trump is resonating, Arredondo said.
Meanwhile, polls show: Joe Biden, in the hours ahead of Cleveland hosting the first presidential debate, leads with 48% to Trump’s 47%. That’s FiveThirtyEight.com — but SurveyMonkey says Trump’s actually got the lead in the state, 51% to 47%.
It’s a toss-up, all right.
Here’s the best advice: Polls, schmolls.
Madame President, anyone? Oops to that.
And Biden’s campaign is being run almost exactly like Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run — meaning, the old “I’m Not Trump, Vote For Me” line of logic. Some platform. It didn’t work for Clinton 2016; it won’t work for Biden 2020.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s what little Lorain is saying as well.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.