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US Election Trump, Clinton make last pitches hours before polls open

The focus of the final rallies was on the swing states such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania which hold the keys to the presidency.

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U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speak at campaign rallies play

U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speak at campaign rallies

(Reuters)

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump campaigned into the early hours of Tuesday in a last pitch to U.S. voters as the final minutes of this presidential campaign tick away.

The focus of the final rallies was on the swing states such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania which hold the keys to the presidency.

A year and a half after announcing her candidacy for president, Clinton is favoured by pollsters to win the White House on Tuesday.

“It is not just my name or Donald Trump’s name on the ballot, it’s the kind of country we want,’’ she said at the midnight rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she was joined by her family and pop star Lady Gaga.

Speaking at his last campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state where Trump hoped to convince white working class voters, he told the supporters: “Today is our independence day.’’

“We are finally going to close the history books on the Clintons, their lives, their schemes, their corruptions,’’ he said.

Earlier Clinton was in Philadelphia, the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, where her party convened in July to nominate her.

At an outdoor rally alongside President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, she urged people to turn out Tuesday and vote for her.

“Let us show tomorrow there will be no question about the outcome of this election,’’ she said.

Clinton pledged to be a president for all Americans, not just those who support her and spoke of the need to “bridge the divide” after the election.

The last day of campaigning before the election wrapped up a political roller coaster that featured months of hostility.

It, however, include accusations against Trump over his treatment of women and against Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Trump declared at an appearance in Florida that he would win a slew of swing states as well as long-time Democratic strongholds, like Michigan and Minnesota.

“It is time to reject the media and liberal elite that has bled our country dry. It is finally time for us to fight for America,’’ Trump said.

Both candidates also made direct appeals to voters in unusually long two-minute television ads scheduled to run during prime time evening television programming.

Speaking directly to the camera, Clinton vowed to work her heart out as president and to make things better for you and your family.

“Tonight I am asking for your vote, and tomorrow let’s make history together,’’ Clinton said, who would be the U.S. first woman president if she defeats Trump on Tuesday.

Trump, in his ad, pledges to take back the country for them, asserting that the government is a failed and corrupt political establishment.

He said he wanted to replace the establishment with a new government controlled by the American people.

Obama also criss-crossed the country for Clinton, including shoring up support in Michigan, a traditional Democratic stronghold that Trump hoped to nab.

The president saw the election in part as a vote on his legacy, declaring all that progress goes down the drain if they do not win tomorrow and calling Trump “uniquely unqualified” to be president.

The race has tightened in recent days, but Clinton is still considered the favourite, with more paths to the 270 out of 538 Electoral College votes needed to win.

She held a slim 2-percentage-point lead in an average of national opinion surveys.

Meanwhile the race is also narrow in the battleground states, but she would need to win fewer of those states than Trump to triumph.

The ultimate winner would be determined based on so-called Electoral College votes awarded to the winner of each state, rather than to the most popular candidate nationwide.

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