Battleground states NCarolina, Florida could decide US election

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RALEIGH, United States: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off Thursday (Friday in Manila) in do-or-die North Carolina with dueling rallies – and some star power in the Democrat’s camp – as the bitter US presidential race continues to narrow in the home stretch.

A nationwide CBS/New York Times survey showed the Democrat Clinton’s lead shrinking to three points, at 45 percent against Republican rival Trump’s 42 percent, a sign the bombastic mogul is winning over once-wary Republican voters.

As the candidates jostle for supremacy in the handful of battleground states that will decide the November 8 election, two of the biggest prizes on the electoral map, Florida and North Carolina, are now absolute dead heats, according to Real Clear Politics poll aggregates.

Clinton unleashed top surrogates including President Barack Obama to bolster her case in a final push, while billionaire Trump deployed wife Melania to soften the brash reality TV star’s image.


North Carolina was suddenly in the eye of the political storm, with the candidates frantically crisscrossing the southeastern state where they are locked at 46.4 percent apiece.

The candidates’ motorcades even passed one another Thursday on the tarmac at the Raleigh-Durham airport ahead of their rival rallies.

“You’ve got to get everyone you know to come out and vote,” Clinton implored supporters in Raleigh, where she was joined by her onetime primary adversary Sen. Bernie Sanders and “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams.

“The best way to repudiate the bigotry and the bluster and the bullying and the hateful rhetoric and discrimination is to show up with the biggest turnout in American history,” she said.

Williams, dressed in a hoodie, sought to pump up black voter turnout – crucial to Clinton’s White House aspirations – which is down in early voting in several states from four years ago.

“For my culture, I know they sometimes call us minority but you see our influence everywhere, we are not minority, we are majority,” he said.

“We’re black! Beautiful! So if you’ve ever been called a minority ever in your life… go out and vote and show everybody that you’re actually really the majority.”

Obama shuttled into Florida for fiery rallies aimed at turning out the Democratic base for Clinton in a must-win state for Trump, who is under pressure to snatch battleground states and even poach one or two Democratic strongholds if he is to prevail.

‘Apocalyptic’

“This will be a close race and you cannot take it for granted,” Obama warned supporters in Jacksonville, painting an apocalyptic vision of what Trump would mean for American democracy.

Clinton added to the portrayal, telling North Carolinians that “if Donald Trump were to win this election we would have a commander in chief who is completely out of his depth and whose ideas are incredibly dangerous.”

Running mate Tim Kaine visited the border state of Arizona, making a play for Hispanic voters by delivering a speech entirely in Spanish.

Trump heads Friday to New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania, while Clinton stumps in Ohio and Michigan.
Clinton’s last stand will come in Philadelphia on the eve of the election for a joint rally binding America’s two most powerful political dynasties.

She will be joined by husband Bill Clinton, President Obama and 2016’s most potent campaigner, First Lady Michelle Obama.

Pennsylvania is clearly a firewall for Clinton; a Trump win there would be a giant step toward his becoming the 45th president.

But a rally in Philadelphia – the City of Brotherly Love – sends an unmistakable message: Trump is a threat to the republic.

It was here that the US Constitution came into being in 1787.

Melania joins stump

Melania Trump, the Slovenian-born former model who could become America’s first foreign-born first lady in two centuries, also chose Pennsylvania Thursday for her first solo campaign appearance.

“He certainly knows how to shake things up, doesn’t he?” she said of Trump’s incendiary campaign.
Trump’s third wife insisted her husband, with whom she lives in opulence, was running to improve the lives of suffering workers, struggling parents and children.

She also made a bald play for votes of suburban mothers, who could make all the difference in the tightly contested state where Clinton’s lead has narrowed, by fretting that “children and teenagers can be fragile” and pledging to address bullying if she becomes first lady.

Despite the Manhattan mogul’s boasts about sexual assault and allegations of groping by several women, white women are evenly split between the candidates, the CBS poll showed.

Republicans ‘come home’

As the race nears its conclusion, profound Republican skepticism about Trump’s controversial candidacy appears to be ebbing.

“I think Republicans are coming home,” Congressman Jason Chaffetz told CNN.

Similarly, Clinton’s FBI troubles – the bureau is taking new looks into the case of her private email server – appear to have dissuaded few Democrats, with only eight percent saying it would make them less likely to vote for her.

But CBS News, citing US officials, reported that the FBI has found emails related to Clinton’s time as secretary of state on a laptop belonging to close aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner, the disgraced ex-congressman under investigation for sending sexual messages to a minor.

Trump has seized on the controversy, airing a new ad highlighting the FBI probe and declaring Clinton “unfit to serve” – language Clinton often uses to describe her rival.

With the campaign in its final stages, Trump was sticking to the teleprompter and avoiding his most explosive rhetoric.

“Nice and cool. Right? Stay on point, Donald, stay on point,” the 70-year-old said aloud during a Florida rally.

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2 Comments

  1. Hilary is depending on the larger turnout of the black voters, but it is not happening, while Trump voters have enthusiasm to go to the polls, because Trump is have been having a full energy connecting his issues to the American voters. Trump is blasting Hilary on the issues of FBI next investigation, calling Hilary crooked and serial liar. The working class, according to Donald is the one he is fighting for. The liberal media and the big time contributors of $$$$ have been the defenders of Hilary. I think the average American voters and not the liberal medial and the big interests will prevail. Status quo on Obama’s administration makes America stagnant. My guess: TRUMP WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

  2. when you look at the pols –If you can believe statistics ..A famous man said –there are lies; damn lies; then there are statistics {Menzies Prime minister of Australia }
    We have a new era the history pf American politics ..Here is a man who has no history of politics ..comes from out side the established regime ..

    Hes galvanizes=d the people –and is seen to speak for them !

    Somewhat like our own country –The people are fed up with the established order -of corruption and lies …
    they are showing it with there votes ..

    Even if Hillary’s machine –get her past the post; a woman who is disliked to a degree that no other nominee has had ..Her honesty is way down at the bottom of the polling scales …..

    In fact if she gets in –she will be a president that the people according to the poles ..Dont trust and dislike –

    -So many questions are to be asked –She will spend the first year in office –before a court of inquiry …This is unbelievable !

    Only In America ! God help America !

    David M Meyer …(PhD Psych}