Hillary Clinton focuses on pushing turnout headed into Election Day
PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton will barnstorm the eastern United States in the closing days of the campaign, looking to spur turnout in states that rely almost exclusively on Election Day voting.
Clinton, after headlining a concert rally with pop star Katy Perry on Saturday in Philadelphia, will attend church on Sunday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, rally with NBA superstar LeBron James Cleveland, Ohio, and appear with singer-songwriter James Taylor in Manchester, New Hampshire.
The former secretary of state will then headline four rallies on Monday, a much more jam-packed pace than she has kept for most of the campaign. Clinton will headline events in Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Philadelphia and Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Democratic nominee’s campaign has leaned heavily on its ground game to turn out voters early in key swing states, trying to “bank” votes before Election Day. The campaign has particularly seen early voting gains in Florida, Nevada and North Carolina. Some aides are quietly confident that, given the turnout figures in Nevada so far, the state could already be in Clinton’s column.
But states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, early voting is primarily limited to special circumstances, meaning turning out voters on Election Day is key.
Clinton’s top aides hope late visits to these states — by both Clinton and her top surrogates — will help spur that turnout.
In addition to Clinton’s visit, President Barack Obama will campaign in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Monday.
“We have tried to calibrate our schedule to be in states at the peak time for voting,” Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said Saturday. “So, Michigan, almost all voting happens on Election Day, same with Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and even Ohio, and so our schedule is calibrated around that.”
Clinton’s campaign is also keeping a close eye on internal polling in Midwestern states, where aides said Saturday they had seen some tightening.
This is especially true in Michigan, where Clinton’s internal polls are currently in low single digits.
“The numbers there have tightened,” Mook said. “We’re taking that seriously.”
In New Hampshire on Sunday, Clinton will look to avoid the issue former vice president Al Gore ran into in 2000: Ignoring the state.
Gore lost New Hampshire by a mere 7,211 votes in 2000, a fraction that infuriated Democrats in the state given how little he campaigned there during the race.
Gore, according to those Democrats, held one event in New Hampshire as the nominee, canoeing with Jeanne Shaheen on the Connecticut River in July.
A Clinton aide said this weekend that one of the reasons Clinton was visiting the state less than 48 hours before Election Day was the lessons learned from Gore.