Only three times have voters there missed the mark in the presidential race: Republican
Yet as an election bellwether county, political watchers turn to places like
Here in northern
She's a Democratic Party volunteer who spends time at the county party headquarters helping with an upswell of support for Biden and other
"So it's pretty thrilling," she said.
Duvernoy said she believes the reason behind this increased political engagement is Trump himself. People are reacting to him because he's a bully, she said.
"He himself is so distasteful to a lot of people, that he's the motivating factor," Duvernoy said.
She said the most egregious aspect of the Trump administration is how a lack of belief in science permeates decision making.
"This denial of science -- whoever thought we'd see that in
She said a prime example is the federal government's "woefully inadequate" response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has resulted in 25 percent of the world's coronavirus deaths happening in
Duvernoy said she also finds herself horrified at new threats to both civil and women's rights under Trump. The Voting Rights Act being "gutted" is "totally antithetical to democracy," she said.
Duvernoy said new threats to women's reproductive rights to abortion, birth control and fertility treatments have arrived with Trump's latest nominee to the
"I find it ridiculous," said the retired doctor. "It's definitely offensive. It's a breach of privacy that you would try to legislate that."
In fact, health care access is a key issue for the
But which way does she think the political winds are blowing in
"It's dangerous to try to predict the future, but I can say people have been coming out of the woodwork to volunteer. We have been so, so busy at the Democratic Party headquarters," Duvernoy said.
People she's talked to are leaning Republican, and some are adamant about Trump winning another term. But she's also heard from friends who won't put out political signs supporting the president because they're afraid of being attacked or having their signs stolen -- several already have been, she said, and leaders for both the county
"I really thought that they were leaning toward Trump, but I don't know," Appelhof said. "People are afraid to even discuss politics whatsoever because it's gotten so violent, and
She's heard of people getting into fights or shouting matches over politics, and thinks Trump haters are to blame, she said. She can't understand why people have turned against him.
"I know he speaks his mind and he should keep his mouth shut sometimes, I don't agree with him the way he talks back to people, but I think he's accomplished a lot, which is not covered, all the things that he's accomplished," she said.
People have told Appelhof they're concerned that they'll lose their freedoms or pay more taxes if Democratic candidates win.
Otherwise, the main concerns are getting through the pandemic and whether people will get back to work, Appelhof said. Some have, just as some schools have returned to classroom teaching, and she thinks restaurants are making do with capacity limits. But businesses everywhere are still struggling and people are trying to make a living.
The first time Appelhof, 83, thought about entering politics was when
She stayed away from politics for a time but has been active ever since a friend convinced her to become involved shortly after moving to
"I have never seen an election like this one, I mean no one has, and it's a shame," she said. "You should just be able to have a conversation and discuss, you know, just have a normal conversation with somebody no matter what side of the fence they're on, and that's what concerns me the most."
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