The hour is almost upon us when millions of Americans that have either not been able to vote early or not desired to will flood to polling locations across the U.S. wait in line for sometimes hours on end to ensure that their voice is heard. But even some 24 hours before a winner will be chosen, both candidates are in a last minute sprint to change undecided votes and influence the constantly shifting balance in the national polls. For Hillary, the goal is to keep the narrow lead over Trump – the final NBC Survey Monkey poll has Clinton up by just 4 percentage points (44 to 40) in a two-way matchup and five points in a head-to-head matchup (48 to 43), while the longer term weekly poll has Clinton holding steady at 47 percent with Trump at 41 percent. Trump on the other hand is betting that the recent resurgence of the Clinton email scandal combined with conflicted mainstream Republicans voting in alignment with their party despite doubts they may have about the embattled and inflammatory GOP nominee. Yet Trump is also reaching out to a rather odd demographic: Democrats who have already voted for Hillary Clinton. Last week, in a speech to Wisconsin supporters, Trump beseeched any voters in the Wisconsin who had utilized early voting in favor of Hillary Clinton and who may have been feeling “buyer’s remorse” to consider changing their vote to his ticket. Wisconsin is one of four states where early voters have the option to alter their ballot before Election Day, through a set of specific measures (the other states include Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota). It’s not easy to do so – Michigan and Pennsylvania only allow votes cast by absentee ballot to be altered, and Minnesota only allowed a ballot to be cancelled up until a week before end of business hours Tuesday (so by the time Trump had made that speech Tuesday night, it would have already been too late for conflicted voters to take any action). It may seem like a rather desperate measure, but at this point in the election many polls have the race as a toss up and any small influence could tip the scale in Trump’s favor.
Meanwhile the Clinton campaign woke up early Sunday morning to the much expected but still welcome news that the FBI investigation into Clinton emails found on the private computer of Anthony Weiner yielded no further evidence of misconduct and the FBI would not be pursuing any more charges against Clinton. The good news? If Clinton should win tomorrow night, she will enter her presidency with no questions of illegal activity or criminal probes hovering over her administration. It could have posed some serious legal complications if the president-elect of the United States was under current scrutiny by a federal law enforcement organization. The bad news? FBI Director James Comey’s decision to open the probe 9 days ago could not have possibly come at a worse time for Hillary Clinton politically. Millions of voters have already cast their ballots during the time of the investigation thanks to early voting and it’s fair to assume judging by Trump’s gain in the polls that the FBI probe definitely had an influence on some voters. As the Washington Post article notes, Clinton had to shift her campaigning strategy to focus back on blue states that she had presumed were locked in, while Trump used the investigation liberally to prove his claims of “Crooked Hillary,” something he’s continuing even after Clinton’s acquittal. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the investigation however was that it embroiled a supposedly unbiased and independent arm of the law in the sticky world of politics.
This is it, the final countdown. Even normally jovial comedy programs have set aside the jokes and satire to remind voters that the decision they face tomorrow is no laughing matter: