Optimism From Hillary Clinton and Darkness From Donald Trump at Campaign’s End


Hillary Clinton campaigned at the University of Pittsburgh as part of a four-state trip on Monday.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump hopscotched from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Michigan on Monday in the final, frenzied hours of the presidential campaign, offering clashing closing arguments as the sprawling map of the United States was reduced to a string of must-win states.

With time running out and polls showing a close race, they delivered urgent and explicit pleas to their supporters and skeptics.

Mrs. Clinton gave a sunny and optimistic summation of her candidacy for the White House as she embarked on a four-state tour.

“Tomorrow, you can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America,” she told a crowd in Pittsburgh. “Our core values are being tested in this election.”

Mr. Trump, who was campaigning in five states on Monday, took a darker approach, assailing the “crooked media,” attacking a “corrupt Washington establishment” and mocking Mrs. Clinton over and over.


Donald J. Trump arrived for a rally in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

“It’s a rigged, rigged system,” Mr. Trump declared in Raleigh, N.C. “And now it’s up to the American people to deliver the justice that we deserve at the ballot box tomorrow.”

As the campaign wound down, both candidates dispensed with ritual. Mrs. Clinton, who relishes upbraiding her rival, abandoned her usual assault on Mr. Trump’s conduct and temperament. And Mr. Trump, who normally seeks to convey confidence at all times, sounded uncharacteristically vulnerable.

“They say we’ll get a tremendous amount of credit, win or lose,” he said during a rally in Sarasota, Fla. “I said: ‘No, no, no, no. I don’t want any credit if we lose.’”

There are signs that despite the ugliness of this campaign, turnout in states that allow early voting is high, and Americans are seizing the opportunity to express themselves in voting booths.

In interviews, several said they were determined to choose a side in this unusual, exhausting and still suspenseful election.

“I’m totally ready for this election to be over,” said Mary Hoch, 54, who attended Mr. Trump’s rally in Sarasota with a “Make America Great Again” hat on her head and a “Deplorable Lives Matter” pin on her shirt.

Both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton sent their running mates, families and allies across the country to maximize their reach in crucial swing states. Mr. Trump relied on his three oldest children — Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. — as well as Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, and Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee.

Mrs. Clinton deployed President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, as well as Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the first lady, Michelle Obama, perhaps the most popular political figure in the country.

Mrs. Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, spent much of the day campaigning in North Carolina, which Mr. Obama won in 2008 but lost four years later to Mitt Romney.

“It’s great to see a finish line, isn’t it?” Mr. Kaine said at an outdoor rally in Charlotte.

He expressed confidence in the ticket’s chances on Tuesday, but warned supporters against complacency and implored voters to seize the chance to elect the nation’s first female president.

“Every election is important, but not every election will change history,” he said. “If we do what we know how to do, this election will change history.”

Mr. Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, started the day with a brisk jog across a windswept tarmac in an unlikely spot for a Republican: Duluth, Minn. It was the Republican ticket’s second stop in deep-blue Minnesota in two days, and though few signs point to a Republican upset there, a modest crowd near Mr. Pence’s plane lapped up his attacks on Mrs. Clinton.

“It’s almost hard to keep up, all the headlines, all the scandals flowing out of just her years as secretary of state,” Mr. Pence said. Even the weeks-old jokes he laced in seemed to have a new energy.

“In one day, the American people can put an end to decades of Clinton corruption,” he said. “You here in Minnesota can close the book on the Clintons once and for all.”

Mr. Trump seemed sensitive to the fact that his final 48 hours on the campaign trail lacked the celebrity star power drawn to Mrs. Clinton, who was accompanied by musicians like Jay Z and Beyoncé and was scheduled to campaign in Philadelphia on Monday night with the rock legend Bruce Springsteen. (Her surrogates have 51 Grammy Awards between them.)

“Beyoncé and Jay Z,” Mr. Trump said. “I like them.” But, he added mischievously, “I get bigger crowds than they do.”

“Is there any place better to be than a Trump rally?” he asked his audience in North Carolina. “We’re having fun. And I don’t have a guitar and I don’t have a piano.”

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