Trump, Clinton zero in on battleground states in final sprint
DONALD Trump urged Americans to “rise above the noise” of the caustic 2016 race and elect him president, as he insisted he is winning against Hillary Clinton despite polls that show the opposite.
Casting the election as a “once-ina-lifetime” opportunity to reject the nation’s political elite, the provocative Republican billionaire insisted he was the voice of the American everyman and essentially urged voters to ignore his 18-month candidacy of overheated rhetoric.
“You’ve got to get out and vote,” Mr Trump told an enthusiastic crowd in Tampa, Florida, as early voting kicked off in the state barely two weeks before Election Day, November 8.
But instead of treading the optimistic high ground, he swiftly returned to rounding on Ms Clinton, decrying the “phony polls” that show him trailing, and questioning the centuries-old integrity of the US election process.
“Our system is rigged,” he said, as he berated Ms Clinton for using a private email server and highlighted revelations in The Wall Street Journal that the organisation of a Ms Clinton ally paid nearly US$500,000 to the political campaign of the wife of an FBI official who later helped oversee the investigation against her.
Ms Clinton, who turns 69 tomorrow, aims to become the nation’s first female president.
She is seeking to cement her lead by conquering battlegrounds including Florida, North Carolina and Ohio where early voting has begun, and where the race will be won or lost.
Mr Trump, who faces an increasingly narrow path to victory amid damning revelations about his treatment of women, continued to assure his supporters that the polls were unfairly tilted toward Ms Clinton and that he would prevail.
Residents of Chicago, Charlotte, Miami and Las Vegas are already going to polling stations to cast ballots – with initial indications suggesting a surge in early voting among Democrats. At least 7 million Americans have already voted, according to the US Elections Project.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, where her poll lead has grown to about eight points, Ms Clinton assailed her rival for calling the operation to oust IS fighters from the Iraqi city of Mosul “a total disaster”.
“He’s proving to the world what it means to have an unqualified commander-in-chief,” she said. “It’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous, and it needs to be repudiated.”
Ms Clinton leads Mr Trump by five points according to the RealClearPolitics poll average, and leads in most battleground states.
A new national ABC News poll showed her on 50 percent to Mr Trump’s 38pc – her highest score since the race to succeed Mr Obama began. A CNN poll released has Ms Clinton ahead by five points.
She enlisted Senator Elizabeth Warren in her campaign who blasted Mr Trump for mistreating women.
“Nasty women have really had it with guys like you,” said the fiery liberal in a twist on the now-infamous slur Mr Trump aimed at Ms Clinton during their final debate.
“Nasty women are tough. Nasty women are smart. And nasty women vote,” Ms Warren said. –
A group of Chinese-Americans show their support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a campaign event in Tampa, Florida.