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Trump, supporters confident of a win in Green Bay rally

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 5:29 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 30, 2020 at 10:38 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - With just four days until election day, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden stumped in battleground Wisconsin in a last push for undecided voters.

Hours before Democrat Joe Biden spoke at a low-key event in Milwaukee (see related story), President Trump led a rally with thousands of supporters at Green Bay’s Austin Straubel International Airport. He spoke for about an hour Friday afternoon, urging supporters to get out and vote, telling them we should be afraid of a Democratic administration.

“You need to show up in record numbers and deliver a blistering defeat to these corrupt forces, and they are corrupt as hell. They’re trying to take over our country and we caught them. They’re coming for your guns, they’re coming for your jobs, and they’re coming for your freedom," the president charged.

He said Joe Biden would lock down the economy and raise taxes. The crowd cheered after he said a report this week showed the country is doing better economically because of existing policies.

“Yesterday it was announced last quarter our economy grew at astonishing speed, 33.1%, the largest GDP growth ever recorded -- and not just be a little bit by more than double."

People were allowed to start entering the event at 11:30. Before making their way inside, they had to go through a health screening for COVID-19 and a security checkpoint. Unlike many recent campaign events, many in the Green Bay crowd were wearing face masks. Many wore red “MAGA” face masks.

Trump was scheduled to visit Green Bay earlier this month but was hospitalized for COVID-19. He told the crowd a vaccine could be in circulation three weeks from now.

“Seniors will be the first ones in line to get it, and we will make it available free because it’s not your fault this thing happened. And the vaccine -- with or without the vaccine we’re rounding the curve, but the vaccine makes it go faster. The vaccine is going to be out very soon," he promised.

The president seemed confident of winning Wisconsin and the national election despite recent polling showing him behind in a number of key battleground states.

A Marquette Law School Poll released this week shows Biden with a 48-43 percent lead over Trump in Wisconsin. The results of the poll have remained steady throughout the lead up to the election. The margin of error is +/-4.4 percentage points. That contrasts with an ABC News/The Washington Post poll that showed Biden with a 12- to 17-point lead in Wisconsin.

“It’s curious when you see the kind of crowds that he’s drawing. There must be at least 20-- 25,000 people out here, rough estimate, compared to what he gets, maybe 10, 12, and yet the polls say that Biden is way ahead,” Trump supporter Ben Paschke said.

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Many Trump supporters we talked to entering the rally believe their candidate will win four more years.

“Do you want a man that takes action and is out there working really hard for this country and having the country’s back and gives back to this country?” Regina Smith asked.

Barbara Finger said she was looking forward to “reiteration of the message about America’s greatness, that he’s proud of this country."

“It’s being positive or thinking it’s the end of the world and darkness. I don’t think that way, and neither does Donald Trump,” Jay Schroeder said.

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The Trump campaign has announced one last visit to Wisconsin Monday. The president will hold a rally at Kenosha Regional Airport at 7 p.m. on election eve. First Lady Melania Trump is holding an event Saturday in West Bend.

There was a mishap ahead of the president’s visit to the airport in Ashwaubenon. A Lamers bus that was carrying Trump supporters to the rally went off the road near the airport. An Action 2 News crew captured photos of a tow truck pulling the bus from a ditch.

A bus carrying Trump supporters to the rally goes off the road near the airport. Oct. 30, 2020.
A bus carrying Trump supporters to the rally goes off the road near the airport. Oct. 30, 2020.(WBAY)
Chairs and risers are set up ahead of President Trump's rally at Austin Straubel. Oct. 30, 2020.
Chairs and risers are set up ahead of President Trump's rally at Austin Straubel. Oct. 30, 2020.(WBAY)

Among those who have already voted, 64 percent said they chose Biden and 25 percent said they voted for Trump.

The poll also found that 91 percent of likely voters in Wisconsin have made up their minds on who they will vote for on Tuesday. The president and former vice president will be making their cases to those six percent who say they may change their mind.

Voters in the poll continue to disapprove of how President Trump has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty percent approve, while 58 percent disapprove.

A concern among some health care professionals in the Green Bay area is gathering people together for an in-person rally. Brown County has a 14-day average of 36 percent positive. The county reported 110 COVID-19-related hospitalizations on Oct. 29. CLICK HERE for Brown County COVID-19 statistics.

“If you are going to choose to gather, again think about how your individual actions might affect the community as a whole,” said Claire Paprocki, Brown County Public Health.

“It’s really up to the people to decide whether or not they feel it is in their best interest to attend the rally. And if they do, we welcome them to attend,” said James Fitzgerald, Brown County Republican Party Chairman.

The president gets positive reviews for the economy, with 51 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving.

The economy grew at 33 percent in the 3rd Quarter and unemployment claims fell to 751,000. Economists warn a surge in COVID-19 cases during winter months could impact further growth.

Trump received an endorsement Friday from someone who is very popular in Wisconsin. Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre says he is voting for the president.

The president responded, “Such a Great Honor! Thank you, Brett!”

Favre’s Packers Super Bowl-winning coach, Mike Holmgren, is backing Joe Biden.

“Nine months into the pandemic and as cases skyrocket in the Green Bay region and across Wisconsin, he still doesn’t have a plan to get this pandemic under control and to help our communities reopen safely, effectively and sustainably," Holmgren said.

Also Friday, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul are making stops in Green Bay, Appleton and Oshkosh Friday on the Biden campaign’s Soul of the Nation bus. They’ll stop at some local businesses and discuss Biden’s economic and pandemic plans.

Wisconsin has a coveted 10 electoral college votes. The state went for Trump in 2016, helping to elect a republican for the first time since Ronald Reagan in 1984. President Barack Obama won the state in 2008 and 2012.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission is encouraging voters with absentee ballots to return them as soon as possible to a clerk’s office or drop box. Ballots that arrive later than 8 p.m. on election day will not be counted.

Voters can register to vote at the polls on election day.

As of Friday morning, voters in Wisconsin had returned 1,738,638 absentee ballots.

CLICK HERE to find your polling place or clerk’s office.

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