White House frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Republican insurgent Donald Trump launched a final blitz to win votes in key battleground states yesterday, slogging toward the end of America’s divisive presidential campaign.
Clinton is slightly ahead in national polls as the nearly two-year race approaches its climax, with many Americans expressing relief that it will all be over in four days.
Two of the most disliked candidates in US presidential campaign history are now focused on prodding lukewarm voters toward the polls — and using a stable of surrogates to make their cases.
Where enthusiasm is lacking, they are trying to manufacture it.
Clinton was in Cleveland yesterday at a rally featuring Jay Z and perhaps Beyonce, after stops in Pittsburgh and Detroit.
Trump meanwhile made stops in New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania — all swing states.
The Manhattan billionaire’s telegenic wife Melania made a rare campaign appearance, making a polite case for her husband and saying politics had gotten “too mean.”
Both candidates are also saturating the airwaves with ads — mainly negative ones — and dialing the scare rhetoric up to fever pitch.
Clinton’s campaign will reach a crescendo in Philadelphia on Monday, where she will appear with Bill Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama — a union of Democratic Party A-list power.
Voters can expect not-so-subtle and not-so-gentle comparisons between Trump and the still-revered US founding fathers, who made their Declaration of Independence in the city, and later signed the US Constitution there.
The Clinton campaign yesterday rolled out a hard-hitting ad describing Trump’s supposed first year in office. “The video highlights what could happen if America elects someone so unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief, and what Trump’s dangerous and divisive vision would mean for Americans,” the campaign said.
Meanwhile, with little evidence, Trump has warned voters that the 69-year-old Clinton would be so busy fighting a possible FBI indictment that she effectively would not have time to run the country. Pennsylvania voter Frank Behum, who spent 32 years working as an electrician for a steel plant before retiring, said the choice was not ideal.
“You’ve got to pick the lesser of the two evils here,” he said.
The campaigns are still jostling for supremacy in the handful of battleground states that will decide Tuesday’s election. Trump has the slenderest of leads in New Hampshire, is up 3.3 points in Ohio and trails by three points in Pennsylvania, according to poll aggregates compiled by RealClearPolitics.
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