Trump, Clinton Crisscross The Country On Last Day Of Campaigning

Nov 7, 2016
Originally published on November 7, 2016 6:50 pm
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DONALD TRUMP: We are going to win the great state of North Carolina.

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HILLARY CLINTON: Hello, Pittsburgh.

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TRUMP: Florida's my second home, a state I love so much.

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CLINTON: It is great to be back in Western Michigan. Thank you.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan - Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hit up as many battleground states as they could on this last day before the election. Trump's itinerary includes five different swing states today, and Clinton has four events capped off with a midnight rally in North Carolina.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now we're going to check in with our reporters following the two campaigns. Let's start with NPR's Sarah McCammon, who is traveling with Trump. His campaign touched down in Raleigh, N.C., this afternoon. Hey, Sarah.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Hello there.

SHAPIRO: So what's the feeling today around Donald Trump and his supporters?

MCCAMMON: Well, you know, his rallies tend to be very loud and high-energy events. But today it does feel like the volume is turned up even a bit more. It's been really clear today and for the last couple of days that this is almost over.

Trump is sounding a bit more reflective at times, trying to stay on message and insisting that he can win. He's calling on his supporters, though, to help him get there. Here he is in Sarasota, Fla., where he started the day.

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TRUMP: This is it. This is it. Good luck. Get out there. I did my thing. I mean I worked.

MCCAMMON: And the crowd went wild when he said that. He has been working hard, keeping a busier schedule than usual with five events a day in states like Florida that are really crucial. He's also been talking about the significance of his unusual and unexpected campaign and really driving home the urgency of getting out to vote.

SHAPIRO: And what does his travel map look like in these final 24 hours beyond North Carolina where you are as we speak?

MCCAMMON: So he's in a lot of states you would expect, like North Carolina - a toss-up - Florida and New Hampshire as well - also Pennsylvania, where polls show Clinton with a slight lead. But Trump has always argued that he can win there with his appeal to communities that feel damaged by U.S. trade policy.

Trump will be ending tonight in Michigan with a big late-night rally. That's another state where he's making that trade argument. It looks like it's quite a reach, but it could be a necessary reach for him to win tomorrow.

SHAPIRO: And what is his closing message to voters?

MCCAMMON: Donald Trump has been reiterating and amplifying really some of the defining themes of his campaign. He's been especially stressing this idea. We hear a lot of a rigged system, telling his supporters that this is their last chance to defy the system that he sees as rigged.

He's accusing the media and political elites, as he puts it, of bleeding the country dry. And he says this is the chance to change that. He says there won't be another chance like this and that by voting for him, his supporters can send a message to the establishment that they're demanding change.

I should also mention that after heralding the news last month that the FBI was examining newly discovered emails possibly in connection with the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server, Trump is back to criticizing the agency. He is claiming without evidence that the system is protecting Clinton. So Trump's message to his supporters about this is that they can bring Clinton to justice by voting for him tomorrow.

SHAPIRO: NPR's Sarah McCammon joining us from the road with the Trump campaign - thanks, Sarah.

MCCAMMON: Thank you.

CORNISH: And traveling with the Clinton campaign is NPR's Tamara Keith. We're reaching her on the road in Allendale, Mich. Hey, Tamara. Can you hear me?

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Just barely.

CORNISH: All right, well, we just heard about the Trump campaign traveling in North Carolina. We know the Clinton campaign is in Michigan, which is reliably Democratic. How do they view the path to victory tomorrow?

KEITH: They do actually feel pretty good about Michigan. But Michigan and Pennsylvania are both states that don't have a lot of early voting, so Clinton is spending a fair bit of time today both with this even in Michigan - two events in Pennsylvania.

And then she finishes out in North Carolina. That's a state that's really a toss-up but where the campaigns feel good but also where the campaign didn't quite hit its mark in early voting. And so they're having this midnight rally to try to get people excited to vote tomorrow.

CORNISH: And Tamara, what is the mood generally around the Clinton campaign today?

KEITH: Yeah, they are upbeat. They are, you know - they like to say cautiously optimistic, you know? This has been an absolutely wild election year - unpredictable. And I think that they're not going to be able to really breathe until it's actually over.

One thing that gives a sense of the mood is that Clinton today, after her rally in Pittsburgh - there was a big group of people gathered on the street hoping to see her. And she went out and shook hands. At one point, a woman yelled to her, Hillary, I became a citizen for you, Hillary.

CORNISH: So you've been hearing this speech - these speeches throughout the day. What's the closing argument from Hillary Clinton?

KEITH: The closing argument is very upbeat, very positive. She's still drawing some contrast with her opponent but not like she was before when she was drawing these very stark contrasts. And she's always talking about a need to bring Americans together. I think we have some tape.

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CLINTON: We have got to rise above all of this hate-filled rhetoric, all of these insults and scapegoating and finger pointing and insulting. I want to be the president for all Americans, not just some.

KEITH: Yeah, so her closing argument is basically, we need more love and kindness here in America.

CORNISH: All right, NPR's Tamara Keith traveling with the Clinton campaign - Tamara, thanks.

KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.