“It’s great to be back home again,” Vice President Mike Pence told a crowd of supporters at a hangar at Fort Wayne International Airport on Oct. 22.

Pence was in Fort Wayne for a campaign rally that included asking support for U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, and Gov. Eric Holcomb, both of whom attended. The three, all running for re-election, took turns praising each other.

Pence called Holcomb, his successor when he left Indiana to go to Washington, “one of the best governors in America.

“Indiana and America need four more years” of President Donald Trump and Holcomb.

Pence praised Trump for rebuilding the military; the crowd responded with a standing ovation. “We’re finally giving the (military) the support they need.”

He also gave Banks credit for working on those efforts.

Regarding the economy, Pence said, “President Donald Trump created the greatest economy in American history.”

He said the administration had created jobs “for hardworking blue-collar Americans.”

Turning to health care, Pence said, “You all remember the disaster of Obamacare.” The crowd collectively groaned. He continued, “Under President Trump we got rid of the individual mandate.” The groans turned to cheers.

Pence took plenty of pot shots at Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, citing a study that indicated under Biden’s economic policies the country would lose 5 million jobs.

By contrast, he said, Trump is “a proven job creator who will continue to cut taxes.”

Speaking of supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Pence said, “President Trump nominated a principled, brilliant, conservative Hoosier woman.”

He told the crowd of his concern Democrats would try to add seats to the Supreme Court. “Joe Biden’s been all over the map on this,” Pence said. “Come on, man. The American people deserve a straight answer, Joe.”

That drew peals of laughter from the crowd when Pence invoked the phrase “come on, man,” a favorite of Biden’s.

The rally ended after about an hour, with Pence taking time to shake hands and pose for pictures with attendees. Pence did not wear a mask, but many of the 400-some attendees did.

A Gallup Poll shows 77% of registered voters polled believe the outcome of this year’s election matters more to them than prior elections did.

Pence let them know the importance of heading to the polls, suggesting attendees bring a friend, and called on Hoosiers to reelect Holcomb and Banks.

An October survey by SurveyUSA of 900 adults statewide showed Holcomb with a strong lead against Democrat Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater 55% to 25% to 10%.

The survey, conducted Oct. 8-14, also showed that Northern Indiana is running tight between Trump and Biden.

“In the fight for the White House, Biden leads Trump 5:3 in greater Indianapolis, but Trump leads Biden 2:1 in Central Indiana, 3:2 in Southern Indiana and 5:4 in Northern Indiana. Trump leads 5:1 among voters who are strongly pro-life.”

-Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly editor Lisa Esquivel Long contributed to this report.

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