Can­di­dates us­ing what­ever they got left

Clin­ton, Trump push into fi­nal week­end

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

RALEIGH:

Hil­lary Clin­ton and Donald Trump geared up yes­ter­day for one fi­nal week­end to sway un­de­cided vot­ers and ca­jole sup­port­ers into turn­ing out at the polls, slog­ging their way to the end of a di­vi­sive pres­i­den­tial cam­paign as the race con­tin­ues to tighten.

As the can­di­dates jos­tle for supremacy in the hand­ful of bat­tle­ground states that will de­cide Tues­day’s elec­tion, two of the big­gest prizes on the elec­toral map, Flor­ida and North Carolina, are now dead heats, ac­cord­ing to RealClearPol­i­tics poll ag­gre­gates. Demo­crat Clin­ton has un­leashed top sur­ro­gates in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to bol­ster her case, while bil­lion­aire Repub­li­can Trump de­ployed wife Me­la­nia to soften his im­age.

North Carolina was sud­denly in the eye of the po­lit­i­cal storm, with the can­di­dates fran­ti­cally criss-cross­ing the south­east­ern state where they are locked at 46.4 per­cent apiece. The can­di­dates’ mo­tor­cades even passed one an­other Thurs­day on the tar­mac at the Raleigh-Durham air­port ahead of their ri­val ral­lies.

“You’ve got to get every­one you know to come out and vote,” Clin­ton im­plored sup­port­ers in Raleigh, where she was joined by her one­time pri­mary ad­ver­sary Se­na­tor Bernie San­ders and “Happy” singer Phar­rell Wil­liams. “The best way to re­pu­di­ate the big­otry and the blus­ter and the bul­ly­ing and the hate­ful rhetoric and dis­crim­i­na­tion is to show up with the big­gest turnout in Amer­i­can his­tory.”

Wil­liams, dressed in a hoodie, sought to pump up black voter turnout-cru­cial to Clin­ton’s White House as­pi­ra­tions-which is down in early vot­ing in sev­eral states. “We’re black! Beau­ti­ful! So if you’ve ever been called a mi­nor­ity ever in your life... go out and vote and show ev­ery­body that you’re ac­tu­ally re­ally the ma­jor­ity,” he said.

Obama shut­tled into Flor­ida for fiery ral­lies aimed at turn­ing out the Demo­cratic base for Clin­ton in a must-win state for Trump, who is under pres­sure to snatch bat­tle­ground states and even poach one or two Demo­cratic strongholds if he is to pre­vail. Yes­ter­day, Trump heads to New Hamp­shire, Ohio and Penn­syl­va­nia, while Clin­ton stumps in Ohio and Michi­gan.

New poll num­bers

A na­tion­wide CBS/New York Times sur­vey showed Clin­ton’s lead shrink­ing to three points, at 45 per­cent against Trump’s 42 per­cent, a sign the bom­bas­tic mogul is win­ning over once-wary Repub­li­can vot­ers. “This will be a close race and you can­not take it for granted,” Obama warned sup­port­ers in Jack­sonville, paint­ing an apoc­a­lyp­tic vi­sion of what Trump would mean for Amer­i­can democ­racy.

Clin­ton added to the por­trayal, telling North Carolini­ans that “if Donald Trump were to win this elec­tion we would have a com­man­der in chief who is com­pletely out of his depth and whose ideas are in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous.” Run­ning mate Tim Kaine vis­ited the bor­der state of Ari­zona, mak­ing a play for His­panic vot­ers by de­liv­er­ing a speech en­tirely in Span­ish.

Clin­ton’s last stand will come in Philadel­phia on the eve of the elec­tion at a joint rally bring­ing to­gether two of Amer­ica’s most prom­i­nent Demo­cratic cou­ples. She will be joined by hus­band Bill Clin­ton, Pres­i­dent Obama and one of 2016’s most po­tent cam­paign­ers, First Lady Michelle Obama. A Trump win in Penn­syl­va­nia would be a gi­ant step to­ward his be­com­ing the 45th pres­i­dent. Clin­ton’s rally in Philadel­phia-the City of Broth­erly Love-will send an un­mis­tak­able mes­sage: Trump is a threat to the repub­lic. It was here that the US Con­sti­tu­tion came into be­ing in 1787.

‘Com­ing home’

Me­la­nia Trump, the Slove­nian-born for­mer model who could be­come Amer­ica’s first for­eign-born first lady in two cen­turies, also chose Penn­syl­va­nia Thurs­day for her first solo cam­paign ap­pear­ance. “He cer­tainly knows how to shake things up, doesn’t he?” she said of Trump’s in­cen­di­ary cam­paign. Trump’s third wife made a bald play for votes of sub­ur­ban moth­ers, who could make all the dif­fer­ence in the tightly con­tested state where Clin­ton’s lead has nar­rowed, by fret­ting that “chil­dren and teenagers can be frag­ile” and pledg­ing to ad­dress bul­ly­ing if she be­comes first lady. De­spite the Man­hat­tan mogul’s boasts about sex­ual as­sault, and al­le­ga­tions of grop­ing by sev­eral women, white women are evenly split be­tween the can­di­dates, the CBS poll showed. As the race nears its con­clu­sion, pro­found Repub­li­can skep­ti­cism about Trump’s con­tro­ver­sial can­di­dacy ap­pears to be ebbing. “I think Repub­li­cans are com­ing home,” Con­gress­man Ja­son Chaf­fetz told CNN.—AFP

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