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Clinton and Trump on the Eve of the Election: The Latest Updates

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will travel around the country to deliver their final pitches, as the election comes to a close.

Voters at a polling station on the first day of early voting in Miami-Dade County in Florida Lynne Sladky / AP

It’s November 7—the election is a day away. FBI Director James Comey has cleared Hillary Clinton—again—after the bureau reviewed additional emails related to the former secretary of state. Clinton and Donald Trump are campaigning around the country in the election’s final hours. We’ll bring you the latest updates from the trail as events unfold. Also see our continuing coverage:


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Nevada Judge Tosses Trump Early-Voting Lawsuit

(John Locher / AP)

A Nevada judge soundly rejected a lawsuit by the Trump campaign on Tuesday that sought to “sequester” polling records, voting machines, and ballots from four early-voting locations in Las Vegas.

The Trump campaign filed the lawsuit Tuesday against Joe Gloria, the Clark County Registrar of Voters, accusing him of wrongly keeping four polling locations open late for early voting on Friday.

In a filing for the court, the campaign claimed that Gloria’s alleged efforts to keep polling locations open “appear to have been intentionally coordinated with Democratic activists in order to skew the vote unlawfully in favor of Democratic candidates.”

But during a hastily assembled hearing, Clark County District Court Judge Gloria Sturman criticized virtually every aspect of the Trump campaign’s legal arguments, including fundamental procedural flaws like providing notice to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office and exhausting their administrative options before turning to the courts.

“Aren’t we missing like seven steps in the process?” Sturman asked Trump campaign lawyer Brian Hardy.

Sturman also expressed concern that the records could be used to harass and intimidate volunteer poll workers.

“Do you watch Twitter? Do you watch any cable news show?” she asked Hardy. “There are, in the internet vernacular, trolls who could get this information and harass people who just want to help their fellow citizens vote. Why would I order them to make available to you information about people who work at polls when it’s not already a public requirement to do so that those people can be harassed for doing their civic duty?”

Sturman also described the campaign’s request to preserve evidence of how people voted as “offensive,” saying it contradicted “the principle that the vote is secret.” At several points in the hearing, she seemed unable to contain her disbelief at what she was being asked to do.

Polling places throughout Nevada saw extraordinary turnout on the final day of early voting last Friday. In Clark County, the state’s most populous county by far, Nevada Democrats typically use early voting to build a “firewall” before Election Day, when the state’s more conservative voters tend to cast their ballots.

In his liveblog of the state’s early-voting patterns, Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston concluded that Trump and Nevada Republicans would need “a miracle on Election Day” to overcome the likely Democratic lead in ballots.

Clinton Tries to Look Presidential in Philadelphia

Brian Snyder / Reuters

PHILADELPHIA—Hundreds of people are gathered on the lawn in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall tonight. Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen warmed up the crowd—both fitting choices for the demographic, which appears to be predominantly white. People waved blue and red signs—“Stronger Together” and “USA”—mostly near the front of the crowd barrier, where the cameras are.

The crowd is revved—it almost feels like Clinton is declaring victory already. One after another, her famous allies took the stage to pump her up and put down Donald Trump: Her daughter Chelsea, declared how excited she is to vote tomorrow. Her husband Bill, who could soon become the “first gentleman,” as someone in the crowd shouted. Michelle Obama, who inveighed against Trump and warned voters not to “play around with protest votes.” Barack Obama, who took the opportunity to do a quick run through his resume, looking more like his cartoonized, grinning, '08 self than he has in a long while.

And then, Hillary. The president brought her on, calling her a stateswoman, a mother, a patriot, and a fighter. Clinton wore a red pantsuit, completely true to form. She spoke slowly and deliberately, slightly hoarse, perhaps from her many days of campaigning. “There is a clear choice in this election,” she said. “Our core values are being tested.” She talked about inclusivity, and giving Americans “the chance to live up to their God-given potential.” She spoke as though she had already won; she spoke as she would as president.

Clinton's future may well be determined by whether the many Democrats in this city and across Pennsylvania come out tomorrow. By definition, a rally attracts the most enthusiastic voters—the ones who know who they'll pick and what they want from this election. They came out in the November cold for Clinton tonight. She's almost declared her victory, and this crowd is surely with her—but then again, in this close race, they're not the people she needs to win.

Clinton and Trump Make Their Closing Arguments

POOL / Reuters

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are making their closing arguments to voters on the campaign trail—and in new ads. Unsurprisingly, dueling ads released by the campaigns on the eve of the election paint a divergent picture of America.

Trump’s ad is somber. The Republican nominee denounces a “failed and corrupt political establishment” and “global special interests”—a line that corresponds with images of liberal mega-donor George Soros and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. It has also created controversy for playing on anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes. “Many of the ‘elites’ depicted in the ad are Jewish, including Lloyd Blankfein, George Soros and Janet Yellen,” left-leaning Jewish advocacy group J Street said in a statement, adding: “It is hard to miss the implication that a cabal of wealthy and powerful Jews is an enemy that the people of the United States must defeat.”

Clinton’s closing statement is more hopeful. The Democratic nominee warns that “our core values are being tested in this election,” but strikes an optimistic note. “I believe in our people,” she says. “I love this country, and I’m convinced our best days are still ahead of us if we reach for them together.”

Trump and Clinton both emphasize that voters have the power to pick the next president. But Clinton’s ad does more to affirmatively make the case for her as a political leader than Trump’s ad. The ad features Clinton speaking directly into the camera as she outlines the reasons why she would make the best president. “I will work my heart out as president to make life better for you and your family,” Clinton promises. “I’ve never quit and I never will. I’ll get up everyday determined to keep America safe and strong and make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top.”  

Trump’s ad, on the other hand, doesn’t affirmatively make the case for Trump so much as it paints his candidacy as the mechanism by which voters can take back power in a government that has become mired in dysfunction. It spends more time showcasing images of voters, and the people Trump denounces as part of the political establishment, than it does showing images of him, or talking about what he specifically would do as president and what makes him qualified for the job. “The only thing that can stop this corrupt machine is you,” Trump warns. “The only force strong enough to save our country is us.”

The Justice Department Will Monitor Polls in 28 States

Jim Young / Reuters

The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will deploy more than 500 lawyers to polls in 67 voting areas in 28 states during Tuesday’s election. Their monitoring isn’t anything new—they’ve watched the polls for decades. But the number of people participating is a considerable drop from the more than 780 they sent to 23 states during the 2012 election.

This change has been attributed to the Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder in 2013, which meant that certain counties that might elicit poll monitoring under the Voting Rights Act—because of their prior histories of voter discrimination—didn't need it anymore. The Justice Department gave no indication in its announcement why it chose certain areas this year to monitor.

The department has monitored elections since 1965 when the VRA was passed. “The bedrock of our democracy is the right to vote, and the Department of Justice works tirelessly to uphold that right not only on Election Day, but every day,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. The federal government can also file litigation, submit statements of interest in private lawsuits to clarify voting laws, and provide guidance to election officials and the general public about them as necessary.  

On-site monitors will be looking for evidence that, per the Justice Department:

  • voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group

  • whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act

  • whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability or is unable to read or write

  • whether jurisdictions provide polling locations and voting systems allowing voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot

  • whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act

  • and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act.  

On Tuesday, lawyers in the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section will also staff a hotline to receive and address any reports from the field. Lynch asserts that all the work Justice Department staffers will undertake will be done on a nonpartisan basis. “The department is deeply committed to the fair and unbiased application of our voting rights laws and we will work tirelessly to ensure that every eligible person that wants to do so is able to cast a ballot,” she said in a statement. The department will also send Spanish speakers to the polls, as well as speakers of a variety of Asian and Native American languages.  

A list of the jurisdictions the Justice Department will monitor on Election Day can be found here.

Trump's Final Anti-Refugee Push

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Campaigning in two long-shot locations over the weekend, Donald Trump reached for an old wedge issue: refugees. The Republican nominee campaigned in both Michigan and Minnesota on Sunday, two choices that mostly perplexed observers. Michigan is a possible, though unlikely, Trump win, while Minnesota hasn’t gone for a Republican since 1972.

Trump’s strategy was to bring back up the refugee issue, one of his key talking points almost a year ago. He did it in his typically winking way.

"To be a rich nation, we must also be a safe nation, and you know what's going on there," he told the crowd. "Oh, Minnesota. Oh, Minnesota. You know what's going on. You know what I'm talking about. Do you know what I'm talking about? Oh, be politically correct. Just nod. Quietly nod. The whole world knows what's happening in Minnesota."

He added: “Here in Minnesota, you’ve seen firsthand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval, and with some of them then joining ISIS and spreading their extremist views all over our country and all over the world.”

Minnesota has a large Somali population, numbering around 70,000. In September, a Somali man went on a stabbing rampage in St. Cloud before being shot by a policeman. In 2014, several young men were arrested for allegedly attempting to join ISIS. But for the most part, the Somali population has not been a source of terror, and when Trump made the same argument in August he was roundly condemned by Minnesota leaders.

In Michigan, which has a large Arab population, Trump struck a similar note. “Here in Michigan you've seen firsthand the problems caused with the refugee program,” he said. “With large numbers of poorly vetted refugees coming into your state—without your knowledge, without your support, and without your approval—it puts your security at risk and it puts enormous pressure on your schools and your community resources.”

One big problem with Trump’s argument is that the Somali population in Minnesota and the Arab population in Michigan both long predate the rise of ISIS as a major threat. Both populations have lived there for decades or years, and many of their members are native-born Americans. Trump isn’t just painting with an overly broad brush about people who are not, by and large, terrorists; he’s misrepresenting who they are.

This is more or less par for the course for Trump, although it’s unclear whether it is politically helpful. He called for suspending all immigration from Muslim countries, although he has since slightly altered the language, saying that he would stop immigration from countries with a history of terrorism. (Refugees necessarily come from violent or otherwise inhospitable places, of course.) He has also proposed “extreme vetting” of prospective refugees, though he has not offered any concrete explanations for how that would differ from existing vetting procedures.

Latino Voters Turn Out in Record Numbers

In June 2015, Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign. He called for a “great, great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border, and said Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals. His remarks about immigrants then and throughout the campaign have alienated Latino voters—and now, it appears Trump’s comments also mobilized them to turn out in record numbers.

Latino voters have historically lagged behind white voters and black voters in showing up to the polls. In 2012, 48 percent of Latinos turned out to vote, compared with 64 percent of white voters and 66 percent of black voters. Still, projections for Latino turnout this election cycle were high, though with a largely young electorate, it was unclear just how many would cast a ballot.

Early reports indicate, however, that Latino voters are coming out in droves. A study conducted in Miami-Dade County in Florida for Bloomberg Businessweek looks promising for Clinton. It’s an important area for Trump to win votes, according to his campaign officials:

Through Saturday, according to Smith, 707,844 county residents had already voted: 44 percent were Democrats, 30 percent Republican, and 25 percent had “no party affiliation," a group that tends to skew younger and Hispanic, and thus toward Clinton. The demographic mix of early voters also looks highly favorable to Clinton: 58 percent Hispanic, 17 percent African-American and 20 percent white.

Anti-Trump sentiment appears to be driving younger Latino voters to the polls. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 64 percent of Latino Millennials say their support for Clinton is “more a vote against Trump than a vote for Clinton.” A majority of older, Latino Clinton supporters, however, appear to genuinely like the Democratic nominee. As I reported last week, in Virginia there generally seemed to be a divide among those who were enthusiastically supporting Clinton versus those who saw her as the lesser of two evils.

Still, Clinton stands to gain from record turnout among Latinos—something her camp took notice of early on. The New York Times reports:

So they set out to reach them in their communities, talking to them in their language, with the belief that touching them in the most personal way possible, at churches, bodegas, bus stops and nail salons, was also the most persuasive. And the effort was focused on more than registering potential voters. Democrats sought to make electoral politics part of the daily conversation for a demographic that had until now largely sat on the sidelines.

Clinton’s team established a presence in Nevada, Florida, and Arizona—three states with considerable Latino populations. According to the Timesby the time early voting closed on Thursday—voters in Nevada, Florida, and Arizona, along with those in North Carolina and Colorado, “had already cast ballots equivalent to over 50 percent of their total turnout from 2012, according to an analysis by Catalist, a Democratic data firm.”

To be sure, white voters without a college degree, which largely make up Trump’s base, surpass Latino voters in voting-age population. But a significant showing by Latinos this year could stamp their significance as a voting bloc and perhaps serve as a firewall for Clinton.