Last day of campaign: Clinton goes for uplift, Trump touts rigged system
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be visiting four states on the final day of the 2016 presidential election
Sarasota, Fla. — Furiously campaigning to the last, Hillary Clinton tried Monday to emerge from the cloud of suspicion that has followed her campaign and close her historic bid with a call for unity and hope. Donald Trump vowed not to make it easy.
Both candidates set exhausting schedules for the final day of a campaign that has wearied the entire nation, each visiting four states in appearances stretching deep into the night.
Both promised to end their contentious campaign on a positive note. For Mrs. Clinton, that meant talk of reconciliation. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, started his day with a sprawling stump speech that kept up his broadsides against Washington, the health care system and Clinton, but also included almost-goofy comic relief.
Speaking to boisterous rally in Sarasota, Trump interrupted his remarks to coo at a baby and comment on a hat in the crowd. When he spotted a mask of his face, he took it and held it up for all to see.
"Nice head of hair, I'll say that," he said.
Trump's campaign tried to keep the focus on Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.
Hours after the FBI announced on Sunday that it had again cleared her, Trump and his aides questioned the bureau's decision anew. The campaign suggested the latest rapid review of a Clinton aide's emails could not have been thorough.
"Hillary Clinton is being protected by a totally rigged system," Trump said at the rally in Sarasota.
The comments were a reminder that FBI Director James Comey's news, delivered in a letter to lawmakers on Sunday, was a doubled-edged sword for Clinton. While it vindicated her claims that the emails would not yield new evidence, it ensured that the final hours of her campaign would be spent talking about a subject that has damaged her credibility.
Clinton's campaign said she would not be discussing the news Monday as she campaigns in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan. She instead shifted to message of reconciliation after a rough campaign.
"I think I have some work to do to bring the country together," she told reporters as she boarded her plane for her last battleground tour. "I really do want to be the president for everybody."
After seeing her solid lead shrink as her email woes resurfaced, Clinton appears to have retained a solid edge in the final days. Her campaign says it's been buoyed by strong turnout in states that vote early. Trump's path to victory remained narrow. He must win nearly all of the roughly dozen battleground states up for grabs to take the White House.
More than 42.4 million people have already voted and roughly half the states with advance voting are reporting record levels, including states with booming Hispanic populations, a possible good sign for Clinton.
In Florida, Hispanic participation is up by more than 453,000 votes, nearly double the 2012 level. Black turnout is up compared to 2012, but that share of the total vote is lower due to bigger jumps among Latinos and whites, according to University of Florida professor Daniel Smith
In Nevada, where more than three-fourths of expected ballots have been cast, Democrats also lead, 42 percent to 36 percent.
Without Florida and Nevada, Trump's path would be exceedingly narrow. He already must win nearly all of the roughly dozen battleground states.
On Monday, Clinton focused on the places that don't allow early voting. Besides her own rallies, high-wattage allies fanned out across the country, including President Obama, who was starting his day with a get-out-the-vote event in Ann Arbor, Mich., a state that has been showered by candidate attention in recent days.
Clinton was to campaign in Grand Rapids, Mich., as well as Pittsburgh and Raleigh, N.C. It was a round-the-clock schedule that included a major rally in Philadelphia with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, along with rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.
Trump, too, planned to keep up the breakneck campaign pace through Tuesday. After the rally in Florida, he was headed to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. After voting in New York Tuesday morning, Trump is expected to return to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and New Hampshire later in the day.
In Florida, he bragged about his hard work. Now it was up to his supporters, he said.
"Good luck," he told them. "Get out there. I mean, I did my thing. I worked."
Mr. Comey's move capped a stunning chapter in the bitter, deeply divisive contest. The director's initial decision to make a renewed inquiry into Clinton's emails public on Oct. 28 upended the campaign at a crucial moment, sapping a surge in Clinton's momentum and giving Trump fresh ammunition to challenge her trustworthiness.
The new review involved material found on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and estranged husband of Huma Abedin, the Clinton aide. Comey said Sunday the FBI reviewed communications "to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of State."
Comey told lawmakers the FBI was not changing the conclusion it reached this summer. Then, Comey said, "no reasonable prosecutor" would recommend Clinton face criminal charges.
Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.