Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Clinton, Trump make final pitches
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama sought to lift Hillary Clinton to victory while Donald Trump warned she was the "face of failure" and predicted he would blow her away in Tuesday's election.
On a dramatic final day of the ugliest campaign in modern history, the candidates and their surrogates held nearly two dozen rallies, chased one another through swing states and made desperate last pleas to voters.
Clinton won the tiny town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, as eight residents cast midnight ballots in an election day tradition. Four voted for Clinton, two backed Trump while one person supported Libertarian Gary Johnson and one person wrote in 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Clinton and Trump both go into Election Day with paths to the White House. But Clinton has many more options to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Perhaps reflecting optimism, Clinton stressed national unity in her closing appearances Monday, while Trump returned to his claims that the political system and the media were rigged against him.
The former secretary of state capped her campaign with a remarkable passing-of-the-baton rally with President Obama before a crowd of about 20,000 against the symbolic backdrop of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
"I regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became," Clinton said, prompting one woman in the crowd to shout out, "Not your fault!"
Clinton went on to slam the "many troubling things" Trump had said about women, Muslims, Latinos and African-Americans. She said Trump's "most horrifying" comment was his warning that he may not accept the election result.
"Let's show tomorrow there will be no question about the outcome of this election!" Clinton said.
Obama introduced Clinton in a speech that was both a firm endorsement and a poignant farewell to politics.
"We now have the chance to elect a 45th president who will build on our progress who will finish the job ... who is smart, who is steady and who is tested," Obama said. "She will work, she will deliver. She won't just tweet."
The President said he was counting on Americans not to elect Trump.
"America, I am betting on you one more time," Obama said, predicting the nation would "reject fear" and choose hope.
Michelle Obama, who has used her popularity to become perhaps Clinton's most powerful surrogate, called on Democrats to turn out in huge numbers to prevent Trump becoming president.
"This election is on us. It is in our hands," she said. "If we get out and vote tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will win."