On Election Eve, Clinton and Trump Plead for Every Last Voteby
Candidates appear in Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina
Global stocks, Mexican peso rallied on Clinton’s better odds
Hillary Clinton ended the presidential campaign on a high note, drawing a massive crowd at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and surrounded by political allies and rock and roll royalty as she sought to hold off rival Donald Trump’s outsider challenge.
One day after the FBI again cleared her of criminal wrongdoing over the use of a private e-mail server while she served as secretary of state, Clinton drew a crowd estimated at 33,000. She was joined by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton.
The scene was reminiscent of the enormous crowds that Obama drew during his 2008 campaign for the White House, and bolstered Clinton on a day when polls showed her widening her lead over Trump.
"It’s been a long campaign, there’s been a lot of noise and a lot of distraction," Obama said. "For every American who hasn’t felt the progress of the last eight years, she will work, and she will deliver,” he said of Hillary Clinton. “She won’t just tweet."
Clinton and Trump spent the final day jet-setting through battleground states, seeking to win over as many voters as possible as one of the most tumultuous U.S. presidential elections in recent history comes to a close Tuesday.
Trump took to a stage in Manchester, New Hampshire with most of his family and his running mate, Mike Pence, as red, white and blue lasers fired in front of a crowd of about 11,700 people.
"Tomorrow we are going to win the great state of New Hampshire, and we are going to take back the White House," Trump said. "We are going to deliver an historic, once-in-a-lifetime change. Tomorrow America’s working class will strike back."
Clinton, 69, told reporters Monday in New York before boarding her plane for the day that her campaign was looking to maximize its extensive voter turnout operation. She stopped short of predicting she could add a Democratic takeover of the U.S. Senate to a White House victory Tuesday, saying, “We’re working hard to help all of the candidates because it would make a real difference in what we could get done.”
At a rally in Allendale, Michigan, just outside Grand Rapids, she urged voters in the state, which doesn’t have early voting, to go to the polls on Tuesday and to look past Election Day.
“After tomorrow, the work will begin,” she said. “And one of the highest priorities that I feel an obligation to address is how we bring the country together. A lot of people say we’ve got to heal our country. Or, as the Bible says, ‘repair the breach.’ Because we have so much divisiveness right now. We’ve got to start listening to each other, respecting each other.”
Trump and pence were also scheduled Monday night to campaign in Michigan, a state that has become central to his hopes of pulling off an upset. Clinton held a 4.7 percentage point lead in the state’s RealClearPolitics polling average with third-party candidates included. Obama won the state’s 16 Electoral College votes by wide margins in both his elections.
Trump, 70, would appeal to voters there and in Rust Belt states such as Pennsylvania because of his populist message, particularly on trade, Conway said.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said the Democratic nominee’s team was focusing on states that have no or little early voting, but polls showed a tightening race starting in late October, when Clinton led by more than 11 points.
Several polls gave Clinton an edge nationally on Monday, including a Bloomberg Politics survey that had Clinton ahead by three percentage points. She had four-point leads in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, and the CBS News poll.
Only the CBS and Bloomberg surveys contacted voters on Sunday, meaning few polls are likely to reflect the full effect of Sunday’s news that, after reviewing recently discovered e-mails, FBI Director James Comey was sticking to his conclusion that Clinton’s private e-mail use as secretary of state didn’t warrant criminal prosecution.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight on Monday in its polls-only forecast said Clinton had a 69 percent chance of winning. The New York Times model gave her a better chance, 84 percent. Democrats’ outlook for retaking control of the U.S. Senate was dimmer, at 46 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. The Cook Political Report projected Democratic gains of five to 20 seats in the U.S. House, short those needed to dislodge Speaker Paul Ryan’s Republican majority.
Clinton’s improved outlook in the final hours of the race was reflected in rallies of global stocks, commodities, and the Mexican peso and in a waning demand for havens including gold and the yen.
Trump cast doubt on the FBI process that led to Comey affirming his decision not to recommend charges against Clinton.
“You can’t review 650,000 new e-mails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks,” Trump said Sunday at a rally in Michigan.
Those figures refer to the number of e-mails thought to be discovered recently on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, during an investigation unrelated to the Clinton probe. Comey announced a review of those messages Oct. 28.
“Nobody in this room can believe what’s going on with the FBI and with the Department of Justice,” Trump said in Sarasota, Florida, on Monday. “Now it’s up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box tomorrow.”
He also told voters in Florida that his candidacy was their last chance to beat a “rigged” system.
“This is it folks. We will never have another opportunity, not in four years, not in eight years,” Trump said.
Clinton premiered her closing ad Monday, saying that Americans are choosing whether the U.S. is “dark and divisive or hopeful and inclusive.”
“I love this country, and I’m convinced our best days are still ahead of us if we reach for them together,” she says in the two-minute spot, speaking to the camera directly. It will air in prime time on NBC and CBS, a campaign official said.
Trump on Friday released his own two-minute ad, an “argument for America,” that his campaign said was backed by $4 million.
The Republican nominee in the ad decried “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” The commercial showed images of billionaire George Soros, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.
The Anti-Defamation League said Sunday the ad touched “on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages.”