Presidential Election: The Day Before the Storm


It’s almost over.

Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump will be cutting different paths across the country on Monday, the final full day of campaigning for the 2016 election, the nastiest in many decades and one that will leave an uncertain legacy for future cycles.

Mrs. Clinton will appear in Michigan, a state dense with working-class voters. She lost the Democratic primary contest there to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. President Obama will also head to Michigan, making a stop in Ann Arbor to boost support among the Democratic base.

Mr. Trump will visit four states: Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

On Sunday, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, sent a letter to Congress saying an analysis of the emails found on former Representative Anthony D. Weiner’s laptop did not change the bureau’s decision from the summer that Mrs. Clinton should face no charges in the investigation of her emails.

This will very likely drive much of the news of the day.

The Trump campaign ‘accepts’ the decision on Clinton’s emails.

While Mr. Trump continued to bemoan a rigged justice system, his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, acknowledged on Monday that it was time to move on.

“I do accept that,” Ms. Conway said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program when asked about the F.B.I.’s decision not to charge Mrs. Clinton over her use of a private email server.

Ms. Conway continued to point to the saga over Mrs. Clinton’s emails as evidence that Mrs. Clinton is not trustworthy and she argued that the ongoing discussion over her case was still damaging.

“It doesn’t help Hillary Clinton that we’re still talking about the emails,” Ms. Conway said. “I think she would rather be on a more positive message.”

Obama expresses confidence in Comey.

President Obama does not believe that James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, is using his position to help a particular candidate or political party, his spokesman said on Monday, responding to Mr. Comey’s latest decision to alert Congress on that a newly discovered trove of emails had yielded no evidence against Hillary Clinton.

The president’s views on Mr. Comey “have not changed,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, following the F.B.I. chief’s latest letter, in which he told lawmakers that the newly surfaced messages did not change his conclusion that Mrs. Clinton should not face charges over her handling of classified information.

Mr. Obama “continues to have confidence in his ability to run the FBI,” Mr. Earnest told reporters traveling with Mr. Obama on Air Force One on the way to a campaign rally the president is attending for Mrs. Clinton here.

“The president is entirely confident that Director Comey is not using his authority to advantage a particular political candidate or a particular political party,” he added

Final polls show a tight race nationally and in swing states.

The last batch of national voter surveys, from Bloomberg and Fox News, show Mrs. Clinton entering Election Day with a small but not insurmountable lead.

The Bloomberg poll has her up by three percentage points, buttressed by strong support from women, young voters, minorities and people with college degrees.

The Fox poll shows Mrs. Clinton leading Mr. Trump by four points, with white men and evangelical Christians keeping him afloat.

Two new swing state polls from Quinnipiac University also portend a close race that might not be decided until late on Tuesday evening. In Florida and North Carolina, Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are essentially tied.

“After hundreds of millions of dollars and untold man-hours, and woman-hours, of campaigning, it would be fitting if the entire country broke into a chorus of ‘It’s beginning to look like 2000,’ in the two states that matter most – Florida and North Carolina,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Clinton to make closing argument in prime time.

Tomorrow | Hillary Clinton Video by Hillary Clinton

Tonight, viewers of “The Voice” on NBC and “Kevin Can Wait” on CBS will see a two-minute national address from Hillary Clinton. Or, at least, it will seem that way.

The two-minute speech by Mrs. Clinton is the campaign’s final advertisement, the closing ad of their closing argument, delivered on two of the nation’s major broadcast networks to anyone watching from swing states to sure things.

“I think we can all agree, it’s been a long campaign,” Mrs. Clinton says, sitting in a living room, framed by bookcases and table lamps. She makes her final argument, pitching her “hopeful and inclusive” campaign against the “dark and divisive” campaign of her opponent, though she never mentions his name. For the entire two minutes, there are no camera cuts or archival footage; just Mrs. Clinton speaking direct to camera in one long shot.The campaign is claiming that the ad will be seen by an estimated 20 million people.

‘Never mind!’

That was the basic distillation of Mr. Comey’s new letter, saying that a review of the thousands of emails found on a laptop belonging to Mr. Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, would not lead to any new actions by the agency.

It was 10 days ago when Mr. Comey apprised Congress of the newly discovered emails, jolting the presidential race.

The letter injected the contest with a fresh level of skepticism about Mrs. Clinton that Democratic and Republican pollsters had reported seeing in surveys.

Mr. Trump initially described the renewed interest in the emails as bigger than the Watergate burglary.

Democrats responded to the original letter with fury and derision. How they handle the latest news, up and down the ticket, remains to be seen. But the new twist once again draws attention to a fraught topic for Mrs. Clinton. Early indications suggest that Democrats plan to continue pounding Mr. Comey for days to come.


Republicans have a decision to make.

For months, the public reactions from Republican candidates and elected officials to their standard-bearer have ranged from a full-on embrace to outright disdain, to something in between.

In the final hours of the race, Republicans will be faced with a choice about what to say about a nominee who has often run against the party itself.

The House speaker, Representative Paul D. Ryan, put out a statement on Sunday after Mr. Comey’s letter, saying that electing Mr. Trump was still preferable to a second Clinton administration.

It was just a few weeks ago that Mr. Ryan indicated to members of his caucus that he would not continue defending Mr. Trump publicly.

But Mr. Trump continues to enjoy support among the party’s base, whose backing Republican candidates will need down the ballot. And so the dance has gone on.

The Rust Belt beckons Trump.

Much has been made about Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama heading to Michigan, a state Mr. Trump’s aides believe they can win.

According to their estimates, Mrs. Clinton is less popular there than Mr. Obama was in 2012.

Mrs. Clinton is struggling with union households in states like Ohio, in a way that Mr. Obama did not in his 2012 re-election. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama will also attend an all-star event in Philadelphia, where Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Michelle Obama will appear.

Unions have been working hard to keep their members supporting Mrs. Clinton. So far, polls suggest, that has been a challenge.

But with Nevada and Pennsylvania appearing to lean in Mrs. Clinton’s favor, even if Mr. Trump wins North Carolina, Ohio and Florida, he would also have to win Michigan or Wisconsin to have a path to victory.

A new batch of leaked emails is released.

It remains unclear how long Wikileaks plans to let hacked emails from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, drip out to the public.

The website, led by Julian Assange, published another round on Monday, marking its 33rd such release. It also published about 8,000 more messages that purported to be from the Democratic National Committee.

A trove of D.N.C. emails that were released ahead of the Democratic convention last summer proved to be an embarrassment to the party and led to a reshuffling of the committee’s leadership structure.