Clin­ton, Trump tar­get dif­fer­ent voter groups in fi­nal push

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Jill Colvin and Kath­leen Hen­nessey

ATKIN­SON, N. H. >> Hil­lary Clin­ton sped across bat­tle­ground states Fri­day try­ing to seal a his­toric pres­i­den­tial vic­tory pow­ered by mi­nori­ties and women, while Don­ald Trump trav­eled to small-town Amer­ica to fire up the white, work­ing-class vot­ers he in­sists will bring the crown to his out­sider cam­paign.

Clin­ton and Demo­cratic al­lies used star power and stark warn­ings as they ad­dressed her base of African-Amer­i­can, His­panic and fe­male vot­ers. She was cam­paign­ing in ur­ban cen­ters of Detroit, Pitts­burgh and Cleveland while Pres­i­dent Barack Obama made her case in Char­lotte, North Carolina — all cities where mi­nor­ity vot­ers are cru­cial.

In Pitts­burgh, a city where one in three peo­ple is not white, Clin­ton ham­mered Trump as “some­one who de­means women, mocks peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, in­sults African-Amer­i­cans and Lati­nos and de­mo­nizes im­mi­grants and Mus­lims.”

“If he doesn’t re­spect all Amer­i­cans now, how can we trust him to serve all Amer­i­cans in the fu­ture?” she asked later in Detroit, where mi­nori­ties make up 90 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. She is hop­ing to be elected next Tues­day as the na­tion’s first fe­male pres­i­dent.

Trump, mean­while, was on a tour of ru­ral ar­eas, hop­ing to boost turnout among the vot­ers drawn to his prom­ise to bring back a lost Amer­ica. He started his day in Atkin­son, New Hamp­shire, pop­u­la­tion 6,800 and al­most 98 per­cent white, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­sus Bu­reau. From there, he was bound for Wilm­ing­ton, Ohio, an­other over­whelm­ingly white town where just 13 per­cent of res­i­dents have a col­lege de­gree.

Speak­ing more than 2,000 miles from the Mex­i­can bor­der, Trump drew loud cheers in Atkin­son when he vowed to build a mas­sive wall be­tween the U.S. and Mex­ico. The crowd booed when he con­tended that Clin­ton sup­ports “open bor­ders.”

“Her plans would mean gen­er­a­tions of ter­ror­ism, ex­trem­ism and rad­i­cal­ism spread­ing into your schools and through your com­mu­ni­ties,” Trump de­clared.

In spite of a close race in na­tional polling, Trump’s path to vic­tory re­mains nar­row. His cam­paign is in­creas­ingly look­ing to make up for losses among sub­ur­ban vot­ers, par­tic­u­larly women, by wrestling up new vot­ers in out-of-theway places.

The can­di­dates’ di­ver­gent paths high­lighted the yawn­ing gaps be­tween race, place and eco­nomics that drive pres­i­den­tial poli­cies.

Trump told his largely white au­di­ence in Atkin­son that “we have to re­build our coun­try.”

“They’ve shipped our jobs and they’ve shipped our wealth to other coun­tries,” he said. “To all Amer­i­cans, I say it is time for new lead­er­ship.”

Trump’s dark views on the econ­omy clashed with a new jobs re­port show­ing the un­em­ploy­ment rate de­clined to 4.9 per­cent while wages went up in Oc­to­ber. The re­port marks 73 straight months of job growth.

But the Repub­li­can said the num­bers weren’t good enough, and he cast doubt on whether they were ac­cu­rate.

“These num­bers are an ab­so­lute dis­as­ter,” Trump said, re­viv­ing his ar­gu­ment that the un­em­ploy­ment num­bers re­leased ev­ery month by the La­bor Depart­ment are skewed be­cause they don’t ac­cu­rately ac­count for those who’ve dropped out of the work­force.

“No­body be­lieves the num­bers they’re re­port­ing any­way,” he said.

As he spoke, Clin­ton cam­paigned in Pitts­burgh, de­liv­er­ing a nearly op­po­site mes­sage. She cel­e­brated what she de­scribed as the Rust Belt city’s re­birth of “con­fi­dence” and eco­nomic re­newal. She asked vot­ers to “imag­ine two dif­fer­ent Amer­i­cas” — one with Trump in charge, and one with her in the White House.

“Think about what it will be to trust the nu­clear codes to some­one with a very thin skin,” she said, adding Trump could “start a real war, not just a Twit­ter war at 3 in the morn­ing.”

Clin­ton called the jobs re­port “good news.”

“I be­lieve that our econ­omy is poised to re­ally take off and thrive,” she said. “When the mid­dle class thrives, Amer­ica thrives.”

Clin­ton’s cam­paign has an­nounced two more stops in Philadel­phia be­fore Tues­day. Penn­syl­va­nia is a state where Clin­ton has long had a solid lead; it has not voted for a Repub­li­can in six pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.

But with polls tight­en­ing across bat­tle­ground states, Democrats are tak­ing lit­tle for granted. For­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton worked to drive up turnout in Colorado on Fri­day, while Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den was due in Wis­con­sin, both states Clin­ton was be­lieved to have locked up weeks ago.

Clin­ton her­self was to wrap her day in Cleveland at a get-out-the-vote rally with hip-hop artist Jay-Z.

Mean­while, Obama halted an af­ter­noon speech in Fayet­teville, North Carolina, to de­fend a pro-Trump pro­tester who was chant­ing the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee’s name.

The Demo­cratic pres­i­dent told the crowd to “sit down and be quiet.” He de­fended the man’s right to free speech. The pro­tester was even­tu­ally es­corted out of the venue.

“If we lose fo­cus, we could have prob­lems,” Obama said.

PAUL SANCYA — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Sup­port­ers hold signs Fri­day at a cam­paign rally for Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton in Detroit.

JIM COLE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump ac­knowl­edges sup­port­ers dur­ing a cam­paign rally Fri­day in Atkin­son, N.H.

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama greets sup­port­ers at Fayet­teville State Univer­sity, Fri­day in Fayet­teville, N.C., dur­ing a cam­paign rally for Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton.

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