LIMA — The chants of “four more years” could be heard echoing through a Lima bowling alley Tuesday night as members of the Allen County Republican Party watched President Donald Trump declare his intention to run for another four-year term.
“The economy’s been turned around in the past three years, and if you look at the housing market, my real estate friends tell me they can’t find enough houses to sell. Gas prices are down. There’s just been a positive trend in the past three years,” said Juergen Waldick, Central Committee Chairman for the Allen County Republican Party.
Trump actually filed paperwork to run again hours after he was inaugurated on January 20, 2017, and has held more than 60 campaign-style rallies since then. He appeared in Lima at the General Dynamics Land Systems Division on March 20 in an official capacity before going to the eastern side of Ohio for a campaign visit.
“I think that people realize that Allen County is an important county. We’re very involved. We hope he comes back,” Waldick said. “I think he might, but we won’t know until it actually happens.”
Local Republicans gathered inside the Westgate Entertainment Center on Tuesday night to watch Trump’s announcement, which was held in Orlando, Florida, and viewed on a big screen television inside the bowling alley.
Trump needs Florida’s 29 electoral votes if a re-election bid is to be successful. Trump carried Florida in 2016 by only 1%. He carried Ohio by 8.13%. A new Quinnipiac University poll released just hours prior to Trump’s rally in Orlando showed him trailing Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden 50% to 41% among Florida voters.
“Given the last election in ‘16, I don’t put too much stock in polls because election night, they had him losing by several points, and it didn’t turn out that way,” said Waldick.
Democrats are seizing on Trump’s record in the first two years of his first term.
“You only need to talk to workers who were laid off at Lordstown to understand the Trump presidency — he makes big promises he has no intention of keeping, and Ohio families get left behind,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “While health care costs are soaring and families struggle to get by, this administration tries to rip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions and gives massive tax cuts to insurance companies and corporate executives.
“Trump has made his loyalties abundantly clear, and they aren’t with hard-working Ohioans. Four more years of Trump will just be four more years of empty promises. We’ll hold him accountable next November.”
In 2016, once Trump was selected as the Republican nominee, Allen County overwhelmingly supported the man who promised to repeal and replace Obamacare and make Mexico pay for the wall. Despite the campaign rhetoric, Trump has yet to deliver on those two promises. He did, however, give Americans a promised tax cut.
“I think, by in large, it’s a success. Certainly, we anticipated some of the things you mentioned, but the movement has been in the right direction, and government moves very slowly regardless of who is at the helm generally,” Waldick said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.