Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

US Election: Most spiteful of campaigns comes to a close as Trump and Clinton make final push

Hillary in appeal to 'inclusive, bighearted US' while Donald urges supporters to defeat 'corrupt' establishment

By Julie Pace

Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump blitzed through battleground states yesterday in a final bid to energise supporters as they raced towards the election finish line.

Mrs Clinton urged voters to embrace a "hopeful, inclusive, bighearted America," while Mr Trump called for support to "beat the corrupt system".

>>Live US Election results  - interactive coast-to-coast map of every count<<

The candidates planned to campaign late into last night, a frenzied end to a bitter election year that has laid bare the nation's deep economic and cultural divides.

Mrs Clinton opened the day buoyed by FBI Director James Comey's announcement on Sunday that he would not recommend criminal charges against her following a new email review.

The inquiry had sapped a surging Clinton momentum at a crucial moment in the race, though she still heads into election day with multiple paths to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become the nation's first female president.

"I think I have some work to do to bring the country together," she acknowledged as she boarded her plane for her last battleground tour. "I really do want to be the president for everybody."

As she took the stage in Pittsburgh, supporters yelled out, "We love you" - an unusual occurrence for the Democratic presidential candidate who has sometimes struggled to connect with voters.

"I love you all, too. Absolutely," Mrs Clinton replied with a chuckle.

Mr Trump was aggressive to the end, repeatedly attacking his rival at his first event of the day in Sarasota, Florida.

Having made the new FBI review a centrepiece of his closing case to voters, he argued that Mrs Clinton was being protected by a "totally rigged system".

"You have one magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system and deliver justice," Mr Trump said.

"Do not let this opportunity slip away."

Across the country, nearly 24m early ballots had been cast under the shadow of Mr Comey's initial announcement of a new email review. That number represents more than half of the roughly 42.5m people who had cast votes by yesterday afternoon, according to Associated Press data.

The inquiry involved material found on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and estranged husband of Huma Abedin, a long-time Clinton aide.

Mr Comey said on Sunday that the FBI reviewed communications "to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state".

Mrs Clinton is banking in part on high turnout - particularly among Mr Obama's young, diverse coalition of voters - to carry her over the finish line today. Roughly half the states with advance voting have reported record turnout, including Florida and Nevada, which have booming Hispanic populations, a possible good sign for her.

Without victories in Florida and Nevada, Mr Trump's path to 270 electoral votes would be exceedingly narrow.

He already must win nearly all of the roughly one dozen battleground states.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph