Trump press­ing into Demo­cratic ter­ri­tory in fi­nal days

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Lisa Lerer and Steve Peo­ples The Associated Press

>> Fight­ing as a party of one, Don­ald Trump vowed Satur­day to press into Demo­cratic strongholds over the cam­paign’s fi­nal days as Hil­lary Clin­ton looked to an army of A-list celebri­ties and politi­cos to de­fend her nar­row­ing path to the pres­i­dency.

The di­vi­sive Repub­li­can out­sider con­ceded he was largely on his own — even as he promised to march into Min­nesota, a state that hasn’t backed a GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee in more than four decades.

“Hil­lary Clin­ton has all of these celebri­ties and failed politi­cians out cam­paign­ing for her,” a de­fi­ant Trump de­clared in North Carolina, one of four bat­tle­ground states he was vis­it­ing on Satur­day. “I just have me, but I have my fam­ily.”

Re­spond­ing to Trump’s push, Demo­crat Clin­ton an­nounced plans to de­vote valu­able at­ten­tion to Michi­gan, an­other un­likely bat­tle­ground where both she and Pres­i­dent Obama planned to cam­paign on Mon­day.

The Demo­cratic nom­i­nee faced dark skies Satur­day in Florida, fight­ing in­tense rain and wind in a key bat­tle­ground state be­fore a Penn­syl­va­nia ap­pear­ance with pop singer Katy Perry. Clin­ton was pre­par­ing to cam­paign Sunday with bas­ket­ball su­per­star Lebron James, hav­ing shared the stage the night be­fore with mu­sic diva Bey­oncé and hip hop mogul hus­band Jay Z.

“My per­sonal fa­vorite part — Bey­oncé had her backup singers in pantsuits” Clin­ton said with a laugh in Pem­broke Pines, Florida.

The fi­nal-days scram­ble high­lighted sharp dif­fer­ences be­tween the cam­paigns in a tur­bu­lent 2016 cam­paign sea­son.

Backed by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and her party’s po­lit­i­cal elite, Clin­ton spent much of the last year fight­ing to unify Obama’s coali­tion of mi­nori­ties and younger vot­ers, aided at times by Trump’s deep un­pop­u­lar­ity among women in both par­ties.

Trump has courted work­ing-class white vot­ers on the strength of his own celebrity, hav­ing scared off many would-be Repub­li­can al­lies dur­ing a cam­paign marred by ex­tra­or­di­nary gaffes and self-cre­ated crises. Just four weeks ago, a video emerged in which a mar­ried Trump ad­mit­ted to kiss­ing women and grab­bing their gen­i­talia with­out their per­mis­sion.

Even with the dam­ag­ing video, Clin­ton faced ex­tra­or­di­nary chal­lenges of her own in re­cent days after the FBI con­firmed plans to re­new its fo­cus on the for­mer sec­re­tary of state’s email prac­tices. The de­vel­op­ment is seen as par­tic­u­larly threat­en­ing for Clin­ton in states, like Michi­gan, Penn­syl­va­nia and New Hamp­shire that don’t of­fer early vot­ing.

At least 41 mil­lion Americans across 48 states have al­ready cast bal­lots, ac­cord­ing to an Associated Press anal­y­sis. That’s sig­nif­i­cantly more votes four days be­fore Elec­tion Day than voted early in the 2012.

House Speaker Paul Ryan cam­paigned Satur­day along­side Trump’s run­ning mate, Mike Pence — a rare show of unity, but not with Trump him­self.

The speaker en­cour­aged Repub­li­cans to “come home” to sup­port Trump in Ryan’s home-state Wis­con­sin, ig­nor­ing for a day his icy re­la­tion­ship with the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee.

Trump has frus­trated party lead­ers in many ways, par­tic­u­larly by ig­nor­ing the hard work that fu­els most suc­cess­ful mod­ern-day cam­paigns. The Repub­li­can out­sider has done lit­tle to col­lect data on prospec­tive sup­port­ers. He has no sig­nif­i­cant staffing pres­ence on the ground in key states. And he has been un­will­ing to in­vest in a ma­jor ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign to keep pace with his Demo­cratic ri­val.

Clin­ton’s cam­paign has spent more than $267 mil­lion in tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tis­ing through Elec­tion Day. Trump, who claims a net worth of roughly $10 bil­lion, has in­vested $93 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to data col­lected by Kan­tar Me­dia.

His en­tire cam­paign strat­egy has hinged on an ag­gres­sive sched­ule packed with mas­sive ral­lies. The path of his lux­ury cam­paign jet has been fu­eled by some­what risky am­bi­tion at times, how­ever.

Rather than hun­ker­ing down in must-win Florida this weekend, Trump flew Satur­day to Demo­crat­i­clean­ing ter­ri­tory: Wilm­ing­ton, North Carolina, then Reno, Ne­vada, and Den­ver. And as de­fi­ant as ever, he promised to make sub­se­quent ap­pear­ances in Penn­syl­va­nia, Michi­gan and Min­nesota.

CHRIS O’MEARA — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump holds up 6-month-old Catalina Larkin, of Largo, Fla., dur­ing a cam­paign rally Satur­day in Tampa, Fla.

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