Obama looks to bury Trump in Michigan
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President Obama pleaded with voters to back Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them MORE during a Monday morning rally in Michigan as he looked to help the Democratic nominee shore up support among the working class and young people in the traditionally blue state.

With his sleeves rolled up, Obama took the stage at the University of Michigan after an introduction by Chelsea Clinton, who was sporting a T-shirt with the slogan “Make Herstory.”

Obama appeared relaxed but also said he was feeling “a little sentimental” since today will “probably be my last day of campaigning for a while.”


He framed the election as a referendum on his presidency, asking the audience of 9,000 people at the campus baseball stadium to back Clinton so his achievements in the White House can live on.

“All that progress goes down the drain if we don’t win tomorrow,” Obama warned the crowd of young college students. “This race will be close here in Michigan, just like it will be in other parts of the country.”

Michigan hasn’t chosen a Republican for president since 1988, but polls show a tighter-than-expected race between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE

Clinton’s campaign has downplayed the possibility of Trump winning in the Democratic stronghold but also says it takes tightening polls there seriously. Clinton’s camp has dispatched the nominee, husband Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWhite House pushes back on claims Biden doing too little on voting rights The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them Boeing's top lobbyist leaves company MORE, and the president to events in the final stretch. 

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, is making a last-ditch stand in the state, with rallies on consecutive days before Election Day. 


The former secretary of State has a 5-point lead over Trump in the RealClearPolitics polling average. But that’s down from a 12-point lead in mid-October.

During the past 10 days, Clinton’s campaign struggled to contain the fallout from FBI Director James Comey’s announcement the bureau was looking into new information possibility connected to her private email server. On Sunday, Comey announced the review would not lead to charges.

Still, surveys show Clinton is less popular in Michigan than Obama was four years ago. And her campaign is hoping to leverage his popularity to appeal to millennials and union households, two groups with which Clinton has struggled. The president on Monday sought relate to the students, almost all of whom were too young to vote in 2008, saying that he has a “soft spot for SpongeBob.”

But Obama turned serious in addressing those who might be turned off by the negativity on the campaign trail, describing the myriad controversies of the 2016 cycle as a “dust cloud of nonsense” and urging voters to focus on protecting his administration’s work.

Obama also sent a message to autoworkers who might be attracted by Trump’s appeal to working-class voters.

He reminded them of the 2009 auto bailout and pointed to Trump’s suggestion last August that some car production should be moved from Michigan to lower-wage areas.

“I think we’ve earned some credibility here,” Obama said. “So when I tell you Donald Trump is not the guy who is not going to look out for you, you’ve got to listen. Do not be bamboozled. Do not fall for the okey-doke.”

The president’s stop in Ann Arbor was the first of three during his final push for Clinton.

He’s rallying voters on Monday afternoon at the University of New Hampshire — another state he won twice — and appearing at a joint rally in Philadelphia with the Clintons and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill Biden plans to host Obama for portrait unveiling that Trump skipped: report More than 70 companies call on Senate to pass voting right bill MORE.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters the president is “enthusiastic” about his last day on the campaign trail. But he also said it’s a bittersweet occasion.

Some longtime aides who don’t typically accompany him on political travel are with the president today, including senior adviser Brian Deese and national security adviser Susan Rice.