Clinton tries to keep focus on her opponent
PHILADELPHIA Hillary Clinton is ending her historic White House bid by arguing that it is Donald Trump’s candidacy that is truly unprecedented.
From Nevada to North Carolina and Florida to Michigan, the Democratic presidential nominee is asking Americans to “imagine” what it would be like to have the real estate billionaire occupy the Oval Office beginning in January.
“This is one of those make-orbreak moments for the United States,” Clinton told a couple thousand supporters Friday night at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. “Imagine,” she said, that on Inauguration Day, “it is Donald Trump standing in front of the Capitol.”
In the final days of the campaign, Clinton’s closing argument is less about the finer points of her policy proposals and more that Nov. 8 amounts to a referendum on the “dark” and “divisive” vision of Trump.
Clinton has sought to keep the focus on Trump’s negatives in the campaign’s closing days, particularly following the FBI’s surprise announcement late last month that it was reviewing additional emails potentially related to the investigation of the former secretary of State’s private server. On Sunday, however, FBI Director James Comey informed lawmakers that after reviewing the communications, the bureau was not changing its conclusions from July that no criminal charges should be filed.
“Basic human decency is on the ballot Nov. 8.” Katie McGinty, the Pennsylvania Democratic candidate for Senate
“We’re glad that this matter is resolved,” Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters aboard the campaign’s plane Sunday.
Trump, the Democratic nominee says, demeans women and minorities; mocks people with disabilities; owes hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign banks; would bring back “trickle-down economics” benefiting the rich; has a hot temper that could start a nuclear war; and might not respect the democratic tradition of honoring the election outcome.
Her surrogates are also laying out the stakes: “Basic human decency is on the ballot Nov. 8,” Katie McGinty, the Pennsylvania Democratic candidate for Senate, said at a Philadelphia concert Saturday night.
The strategy of going on offense caps a campaign that’s taken personal insults to a new low and features candidates who are highly unpopular by historical standards.
Despite a convention in July in Philadelphia that emphasized her biography of helping children and families and that improved her favorability numbers — they remain around 46% as of late October, around 20 points lower than Barack Obama’s in November 2008.
Hence hitting Trump is probably a more effective means of turning out core Democratic voters — especially African Americans and Millennials — than trying to excite them about the specifics of her ideas.
The race is tightening in the homestretch of the campaign, both nationally and in battlegrounds like New Hampshire, where Trump appears to have erased Clinton’s earlier advantage.
The campaign says a new “Clinton Coalition” is beginning to take shape — and it includes large numbers of Latinos, Asians, suburban women, African Americans and Millennials. These groups, said campaign manager Robby Mook, amount to a “firewall against a Trump victory.”
Clinton is maintaining her lead in most of the states she would need to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win, including Virginia, Colorado and across much of the Rust Belt.
“The map has been consistent for us,” campaign chairman John Podesta told reporters Friday aboard Clinton’s campaign plane.
Yet their concerns, particularly about African-American turnout and maintaining President Obama’s winning coalition, are clear. Clinton is jetting to Michigan, a state that had been considered safe, twice in the final days of her sprint.
She spent her evenings in recent days at large rallies headlined by pop stars, including Pharrell Williams in North Carolina, Beyonce and Jay-Z in Cleveland and Katy Perry in Philadelphia.
“The race will come down to African-American voter intensity in Philly, Cleveland, Charlotte, and Miami,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
“The race will come down to African-American voter intensity in Philly, Cleveland, Charlotte, and Miami.” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
Hillary Clinton calls election a make-or-break moment for U.S.
Hillary Clinton speaks Saturday in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Hillary Clinton appears on stage with Katy Perry during a getout-the-vote concert on Nov. 5, 2016, in Philadelphia.