Three days before Election Day, hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters rallied Saturday in a car parade to send one message.
"Vote. Vote for Trump," said James Robitsek, 52, who runs "Setauket Patriots," the conservative group that organized the caravan Saturday. Driving a red truck, Robitsek led a long line of vehicles decorated with "Trump 2020" messages and large "thin blue line" flags rumbling down Route 25A.
The caravan of more than 100 vehicles was greeted by cheers and applause from pro-Trump crowds that lined Main Street in Port Jefferson and other locations along the route. They were also met with scattered groups that held signs in support of Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden, including dozens that stood at the intersection of Route 25A and Bennetts Road in Setauket.
John Barker, 84, who sat in a chair with a sign that read, "Save our democracy vote Biden," said he didn’t want the spectators to view the caravan as representative of a majority.
For "people who are making up their minds on how they are going to vote on Tuesday, that kind of bullying can be very influential unfortunately," the Setauket resident said. "We try in a peace-loving way to represent a completely different set of values."
Barker is a member of North Country Peace Group, who has shown up at the same corner every Saturday since 2002 to protest the Iraq War before it began, according to Susan Perretti, a longtime member of the group that has taken up the causes of climate justice and racial equality.
Some in Perretti’s group yelled "Black Lives Matter" while Trump supporters across the street shouted back "Blue Lives Matter" as loud honks sounded in the background.
For Ellen and Tom Chan of Queens, participating in the caravan was their way of backing the president. "He fights for us, so this is our way of fighting for him," Ellen Chan said.
"Without the House’s help, he just got everything done," said Amityville resident Ernie Caramanico, 67, who said he has been to about 10 pro-Trump rallies.
While national polls have shown Biden leading in the presidential race, the president’s supporters said they don’t trust them, pointing to the 2016 election in which Hillary Clinton was favored to win the presidency.
"I can only hope that it’s the same situation now that the polls are misleading again for maybe people that want Trump to say: ‘Well, he’s not going to win, I will just stay home,’" said Doug Clark, 63, of Ronkonkoma.