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Local delegate predicts county Biden win in November

Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden can win in Marathon County if his party effectively communicates his message and voters are not intimidated at the polls, town of Stettin resident Dr. Kay Gruling, a Democratic convention delegate, said on Saturday.

Gruling participated last week in her party’s virtual convention over her computer at home (except when her broadband service temporarily failed) and, as a delegate, voted for Biden, who she was pledged to.

She said she is convinced the Democrats “have the ideas” and can get voters here to support Biden, even though it went solidly for Donald Trump in 2016.

“I think we will win, not in a landslide, but we will win,” Gruling predicted.

The delegate said Democrats need to do a better job of explaining their actual positions.

She said, for example, Democrats support universal health care coverage, not necessarily Medicare for all.

Gruling said not everyone can be covered by Medicare because some people can’t afford the program’s premiums and also the premiums needed for Medicare supplemental health care plans.

“If you don’t have a supplemental, you might wind up owing $10,000 or $20,000 in health care bills under Medicare,” she said.

Gruling said, too, that while some people might want to have a Medicare for all plan as an immediate fix for health care in the country, there are no quick fixes.

“The system can’t just flip into Medicare,” she explained. “It has to happen slowly.”

Gruling added that Democrats need to do a better job of explaining their position on abortion. The delegate said Democrats, generally, are pro-choice, but that doesn’t mean they are proabortion.

She said Democrats favor free birth control which, as experience in Scandanavian countries has shown, dramatically reduces the numbers of abortions.

“Abortions are rare in those countries,” she said. Gruling said Democrats can thus be pro-choice while minimizing the number of abortions.

“Birth control is not abortion.,” she said. “We can do that.”

Gruling said she participated daily in the Democratic convention and, while disappointed that she was unable to attend an in-person gathering due to COVID-19, enjoyed meeting other Democratic delegates from all over the country in Zoom calls.

“It was a pretty great thing,” she said.

Gruling said the 95 or so Wisconsin delegates enjoyed a virtual breakfast meeting each morning and heard from state Democrats, including Gov. Tony Evers.

“Tony Evers brought an Egg McMuffi n every day,” she said.

Gruling said the four-day convention offered a multitude of virtual break-out sessions and she had trouble choosing among so many interesting options. She said she enjoyed sessions with Democratic stars Nancy Pelosi, Stacy Abrams, Eric Holder and Tammy Baldwin.

Gruling said she left the convention “fired up” for the fall.

“There is hope for our future if we include everyone and believe in science,” she said.