Donald Trump and Joe Biden Tied in Famous Indiana Bellwether Vigo County

Vigo County, Indiana has voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election for more than 60 years and a poll released just days before the election shows voters are evenly divided.

An Emerson College poll released on November 1 shows President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are tied in the county with 48 percent each, while three percent of respondents said they were backing a third candidate.

None of those surveyed were undecided but Biden led among independent voters with 50 percent to 44 percent. The president's approval rating in Vigo County stands at 49 percent. This is higher than the national average of 44.3 percent, according to poll tracker FiveThirtyEight.

Forty-five percent of Vigo County voters said COVID-19 was a major threat to public health in the U.S. but there was a divide on the issue, according to Indy Politics.

Among Biden supporters, 78 percent said COVID-19 was a major threat but 38 percent of Trump voters thought it was a minor threat.

Respondents rated the economy as the most important issue, with 38 percent of voters thinking it was.

Trump won Vigo County by 14 points in 2016 but, like several counties in key swing states, voters there had chosen President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. This is part of a long-established pattern that's made Vigo County a matter of national interest.

Since 1888, Vigo County voters have backed the winning presidential candidate on all but two occasions. In 1908 the county plumped for Democrat Williams Jennings Bryan over President William H. Taft and similarly in 1952, voters there went for Democrat Adlai Stevenson over President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

However, the county hasn't voted for a losing candidate since Stevenson's defeat and the recent poll shows that Vigo County may retain its status as a national bellwether this year, though it offers no indication yet of who might win on Tuesday.

Matt Bergbower, a political science professor at Indiana State University in Terre Haute in Vigo County, told the Indy Star last week that "peripheral" voters and independents contributed to the county's unusual status.

"Peripheral voters are, for lack of a better word, persuadable by candidates or persuadable by the mood of the nation," Bergbower said.

Though Vigo County could go either way this year, the state of Indiana is solidly in the Trump camp. The president leads Biden in the state by 9.8 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. Indiana is also Vice President Mike Pence's home state, where he served as governor.

Biden and Trump Speak at the Debate
U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. This was the last debate between the two candidates before the election on November 3. Trump and Biden are tied in one bellwether Indiana county. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images