- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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.

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA — Twenty-to-one.

That’s the ratio of Donald Trump to Joe Biden campaign signs that can be seen while driving the northern country roads of Pennsylvania and Ohio into Indiana. And that’s being generous. To Biden.

In some places, for some seemingly endlessly long stretches of time and roadway, the ratio was more like 30:1.

Trump signs are everywhere, all over, all along the roads and residences of 30 West, 422 West, 20 West.

There are “Farmers for Trump” signs, huge Trump banners, small Trump signs, medium Trump signs, “Stop the bulls—” Trump signs.

David Arredondo, chairman of the Lorain County Republican Party, said his office sees 50 people a day, many of whom request Trump signs — many of whom report stolen or “gone-missing” Trump signs.

And what’s interesting about the signage is this: Most Trump signs are accompanied by U.S. flags. Biden signs? Nope. It’s almost as if Democrats were afraid of the affiliation.

In other words: The enthusiasm for Trump, at least along the northern corridors of the tri-state Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana area, is evident.

Then comes South Bend.

A different beast entirely.

“Trump supporters are crazy,” as one Biden-supporting cab driver put it.

“Biden has constantly shown he’s focused on helping other people,” as South Bend-er Ryan Hill put it. Trump?

“What terrified me during the election was the videotape of him saying he grabbed women, and that [he said] if you’re rich and powerful, they’ll just let you do it,” Hill said, his point being that Trump is rich and powerful — and terrifying — personified.

Yet: St. Joseph County, where South Bend sits, has given more money in the last four years to Republican and conservative campaigns than to Democrats. According to a compilation of Federal Election Commission data reported by BestPlaces.net, between 2015 and 2018, “there were 14,321 contributions totaling $2,032,136 to Democratic and liberal campaigns, averaging $142 per contribution.” During those same years, BestPlaces.net wrote, “there were 3,323 contributions totaling $2,172,957 to Republican and conservative campaigns, averaging $654 per contribution.”

The takeaway?

For Republicans, South Bend may be a complete bust. Or not. Same, same for Democrats.

Strange. Animal. Indeed.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com 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.

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