President Donald Trump is trailing challenger Joe Biden in the polls heading into next week’s election, but it was difficult to get a sense of that Sunday morning in Dixon.
That was the starting point of a Multi-State Trump/Back the Blue Parade. Dozens of vehicles, ranging from cars and pickups to farm implements and an old fire truck pulling a boat, lined up for a trip through the northern part of Illinois. Most of them included flags supporting Trump and vice president Mike Pence.
At 10:45 a.m., the caravan headed to Rock Falls and Sterling, then Oregon and Byron before meeting a Wisconsin group in Rockford. A big gathering of the groups was planned at Forest Hills Plaza in Rockford.
“I think what it shows is the enormous support for Trump that you don’t see in the polls,” Hank Gerdes of Amboy said. “These things are going on all over the country. My sister [Juanita Foley] was in one Saturday in Cincinnati with thousands of cars. It’s all over and it’s big, and we’re going to make sure Trump gets re-elected.”
As for Trump lagging behind Biden in polls, Gerdes wasn’t too concerned.
“I’d ask Hilary [Clinton] that, because that’s the way it was 4 years ago, and [Biden] is way ahead right now,” Gerdes said. “Poor Biden just needs to go home. Trump is going to beat this guy so bad it’s going to be embarrassing.”
Daniel Robble of Winnebago is a bit of a pro at this. On Saturday, he was part of a group that started in Woodstock, picked up more Trump supporters in Bloomington, and convened in Springfield. He’s been on the road for at least 10 weekends in a row, and knows others that have been doing it since early in the spring.
“I’m out here every weekend trying to promote Trump and talk to these BLM (Black Lives Matter) guys, trying to figure out why they’re on the side they are,” Robble said. “Every weekend, we’re out in the suburbs where they need us.”
Robble was handing out flyers touting MAGA Drag the Interstate Illinois, a Facebook group that promotes these type of road rallies.
“On November 1st, the MAGA Drag throughout the whole country, they’re hoping to get a million people on the road simultaneously,” Robble said. “We’re just out here supporting Trump. We’re all patriots, we love our country and peaceful protesting.”