Countdown to Election Day 2016: What you need to know today


Tracking the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton



With 5 days to go …

The big news Thursday afternoon was Melania Trump’s speech in Pennsylvania. The appearance was her first public speech since the Republican National Convention. “It will be my honor and privilege to serve this country,” Melania Trump said of her accepting the First lady’s role if her husband is elected. “I will be an advocate for women and children.”

She spoke about her interest in addressing bullying, especially via social media. “Our culture has become too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she said, specifically noting anonymous postings on the Internet.

“It will be one of the main focuses of my work if I am privileged enough to be your First lady,” she said.

Melania Trump’s speech overshadowed the Donald Trump-President Obama jousting in Florida.

Trump was at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, where he again  hammered Clinton on the FBI probe. “But, remember, the system is rigged,” said Trump. “The political leadership at the Department of Justice is trying to protect Hillary Clinton.”

Also in Jacksonville, Obama spoke at the University of North Florida this afternoon.

Trump said the two passed by each other in Miami as Trump was leaving for Jacksonville and Obama was arriving for a speech at Florida International University on Thursday morning. “I see Air Force One and I say to myself, ‘I wonder who that could be?'” Trump said. “He is campaigning for ‘Crooked Hillary Clinton’ … He should be back in the office working.”

Obama started his morning campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Miami. In the speech at FIU, Obama ripped Trump for “hanging out with celebrities” while “stiffing small businesses and working people.” He also reiterated Clinton campaign attacks on Trump saying is “uniquely unqualified to be commander in chief.”

Hillary Clinton was in North Carolina this evening.

After visits from Clinton, Trump, Obama and Biden on back-to-back-to-back days, South Florida gets a respite from the presidential election heat lamp for the rest of Thursday.


Many of the battleground states in the electoral map below from 2012 are in play again this year. But there’s a twist. Some states that have been reliably red or blue could end up in play in the final days of the campaign.

So, on Friday, Clinton heads for Michigan — which has been reliable for Democrats in 1988. But Trump has upped the pressure in this core blue state, including visits by surrogates and a big TV ad buy. So Clinton is heading for Detroit. Likewise, Clinton was campaigning Wednesday in Arizona, a state that has long been a lock for Republicans.

Trump will also be in New Hampshire, another blue state he hopes to turn red, as well as in Pennsylvania for the second time this week, in Hershey on Friday.

On Saturday, Clinton returns to Florida for a public event in South Florida, according to her campaign, though the time and location have not been released yet.

Key battleground states – Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona, Ohio – are slated to get lots of campaign attention through the end of work week.

This map is from 2012, but the battleground states the (in yellow) are the ones being fought over again in 2016.


Photos: Which celebrities are voting Trump, which are voting for Clinton 


Four polls to keep an eye on:

A CBS/New York Times poll also shows the gap between Clinton and trump narrowing, though Clinton still leads, 45 percent to 42 percent.

The Electoral College map produced by FiveThirtyEight gives Clinton a 64.7 percent chance of surpassing the 270 vote requirement; Trump just 35.3 percent.

USA Today’s poll tracker puts Clinton ahead of Trump, 45.3 percent to 43.6 percent. tally of state-by-state polls has Clinton ahead today in two key battleground states: Florida and New Hampshire.



As of Thursday morning, some 4.9 million Floridians have cast their vote. Republicans have cast 40.02 percent of those ballots. Democrats account for 39.78 percent of the votes.

Biden draws Clinton and Trump backers at PBSC, West Palm coffee shop

Trump in Miami urges supporters to ‘close the deal’ in Florida

Election 2016: Do’s and Don’ts at the voting booth



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