Presidential Candidates Blitz Michigan on Final Day of Campaign

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are making a final push to get out the vote in Michigan today, one day before the presidential election.

Both campaigns appear to believe Michigan is in play after watching Clinton’s previous double digit lead over Trump dwindle.

The Clinton campaign is dispatching two of its heaviest hitters to the state today for separate events. President Obama held a rally in Ann Arbor. Clinton herself will speak in Grand Rapids.

Jake Neher/WDET

Trump is scheduled to address a crowd there hours later, in what would be his final stop of the presidential campaign. The Republican nominee has four other events set for earlier in the day, including rallies in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

Trump said at a rally in Sterling Heights last night that the FBI’s announcement that newly-examined emails connected to Clinton do not warrant any criminal charges is a sign that she is, in his words, “being protected by a rigged system.”

Trump said, “Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it. The FBI knows it. The people know it. And now it’s up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8th.”

Trump also again vowed to keep manufacturing jobs in Michigan, a theme that has played well with some voters across the industrialized Midwest.

We will stop the jobs from leaving your state,” the GOP nominee said.  “We’re going to stop the jobs from going to Mexico and China and all over the world. We will make Michigan into the manufacturing hub of the world once again. And no politician will do that. They don’t have a clue.”

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

Clinton, on the other hand, is countering by trying to reinvigorate her Midwestern base, especially African American voters.

Some Democratic officials have said they fear black voters may have become a bit disenchanted with the contentious presidential campaign. That could limit how many African Americans head to the polls, and it’s a constituency the Clinton campaign sorely needs.  

At a rally in Detroit’s Eastern Market on Friday, Clinton told the crowd they cannot afford to be apathetic.    

I get it. It has been, in many ways, a really tough campaign,” Clinton said. “But I’ll tell you what. Michigan, you can make the difference.”

Clinton praised President Obama for saving Detroit’s signature auto industry. She promised, if elected, to return to Detroit so she could be “held accountable” for her actions in office.  

Clinton also pushed back against Republican rival Trump’s claim that Democrats are taking the African American vote for granted.  

Clinton said, “I want to continue the good work that our past two Democratic presidents have done, one named Clinton, one named Obama. I want to be a really strong partner with Detroit and other cities that are on the way back up to make sure you get the investment and the support, the housing and the jobs that you need.”

The Clinton campaign hopes to maintain the same kind of Midwest firewall of blue states that helped propel Barack Obama to the White House.   

Image credit: Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.  

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