Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump blitzed through battleground States on Monday in a final bid to energise supporters. Ms. Clinton, backed by an emotional appeal from President Barack Obama, urged voters to embrace a “hopeful, inclusive, bighearted America,” while Mr. Trump vowed to “beat the corrupt system.”
The candidates rallied voters late into the night, a frenzied end to a bitter election year that has laid bare the nation’s deep economic and cultural divides. Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump were both nostalgic at times, looking back fondly at a campaign that has put each on the brink of the presidency.
Ms. Clinton campaigned with confidence, 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 FBI inquiry had sapped a surging 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.
Ms. Clinton closed her campaign alongside the last two Democrats to occupy the Oval Office, Mr. Obama and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as well as first lady Michelle Obama.
‘Regret the tone of campaign’
In a nod to the deep divisions that await the next president, Ms. Clinton said she had come to “regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became.” She cast the choice facing voters on Tuesday as a “test of our time.”
“We know enough about my opponent, we know who he is,” she said, addressing tens of thousands of people sprawled across Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. “The real question for us is what kind of country we want to be.”
Mr. Obama’s address amounted to a valedictory for a President whose popularity has grown in his final year in office.
“America, I’m betting on you one more time,” Mr. Obama said. “I am betting that tomorrow you will reject fear and choose hope.”
Mr. Trump, who sped through five rallies on Monday, recalled the rivals he had vanquished and how far he has come since launching his improbable candidacy. As he surveyed the crowd in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he declared, “It’s been a long journey.”
Still, Mr. Trump was aggressive to the end, slamming Ms. Clinton as the “face of failure.” Having made the new FBI review a centerpiece of his closing case to voters, he argued that the Democrat was being protected by a “totally rigged system.”
“You have one magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system and deliver justice,” he said. “Do not let this opportunity slip away.”