With just four days of campaigning left, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are now poised for a final weekend of stops in key swing states, as once again they will be shadowing each other on Friday, as the race for the White House can actually see the finish line in sight.
Here’s a snapshot of where things stand:
1. The schedule tells a story. The schedule still isn’t finalized for Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday, but we have a pretty good idea what states the candidates will hit. Trump will visit a larger number of states, as he tries to peel a few Blue states away from the Democrats. As of this writing, Trump will be in at least eight different states in the final few days – Clinton has stops in five states, with more to be added for both candidates. Trump will finish with a rally in New Hampshire on Monday night; Clinton will hold a final rally in Philadelphia.
2. New Hampshire is suddenly a battleground. Hillary Clinton has led in the Granite State for months on end, but suddenly, Donald Trump has momentum there, and it has shown in the polls. Trump will be in New Hampshire for a rally on Friday, and make his last stop there on Monday night. Clinton will be in New Hampshire on Sunday, and President Obama will stop through on Monday. It’s only four Electoral Votes, but if the race is close, it could be very important. Of any state in the country, New Hampshire probably is where Trump has the best ground game.
3. Clinton plays defense in Michigan. Not one poll. Not one, single poll. Zero. None. Nil. Nada. Zilch. That’s how many polls have shown Donald Trump ahead in Michigan since the national party conventions. But Team Clinton must be worried about something, because Hillary Clinton will be there on Friday. Trump did very well in Michigan in the GOP primary, and it’s certainly a state that would be fertile ground for his populist arguments on trade. Trump was there for two stops earlier in the week – so far, he has no return scheduled in the final few days.
4. Trump will trek out West. Donald Trump will spend some valuable time in the air so he can head west of the Mississippi River on Saturday and Sunday to see if he can squeeze out some important victories next week. On Saturday, he’ll be in Reno, Nevada – Sunday he’ll have a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, and he will go to Wisconsin. I was sort of surprised to see him go to Iowa, because many see Trump as the favorite there. The trip to Nevada comes as the early voting statistics in the Silver State have run against Trump. He’ll try to turn that tide in Washoe County – but the early vote there has been favoring Democrats.
5. Waiting on the Friday news dump. We have had some Fridays during this campaign that have been almost an out-of-body news experience, because such big stories have unexpectedly dropped out of the sky. One week ago, it was a lovely Friday afternoon, and then suddenly the FBI Director dropped a cannonball on everyone’s head about the Clinton email investigation. Do we get something from the FBI again? What else could it be? Don’t stray too far away for Happy Hour – you never know what might be dumped.