Wild race heads for dramatic ending

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonState polling problematic — again 4 reasons why Trump can't be written off — yet 'Unmasking' Steele dossier source: Was confidentiality ever part of the deal? MORE sounded a confident note Monday as she sought to cut off any path to 270 electoral votes for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE on the final full day of the presidential campaign.

Trump, for his part, promised that his supporters would propel him to a surprise victory. He crisscrossed the country during one of the most frantic stretches of his campaign, which featured appearances at 13 separate rallies in the 72-hour period heading into Election Day.

Polls rolled in by the hour on Monday, the clear majority showing Clinton with the edge nationally.

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The Democratic nominee will enter Tuesday with several different paths to the White House, and Clinton wasn’t timid about showing her assurance when asked about the challenge of unifying the nation after a bitterly divisive presidential campaign. 

“I think I have some work to do to bring the country together,” Clinton said. “I really do want to be the president for everybody.”

Clinton held a lead of around 3 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics national average. Her margin had been twice as large in mid-October. Nonetheless, her lead has actually ticked upward from a recent low in the past few days.

Trump insisted that he was going to win, pointing to his tens of thousands of enthusiastic supporters. Lines for Trump rallies snaked around the grounds even for last-minute stops in states that are normally safe for Democrats in presidential elections, such as Minnesota.

“The whole psyche will change tomorrow,” Trump said at a Monday rally in Florida. 

While Clinton betrayed no nervousness, her campaign lavished attention on Michigan, a seemingly safe state for the Democrat that hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988. 

President Obama spoke in Ann Arbor, while the candidate herself returned for the second time since Friday for a rally in Grand Rapids. Those efforts suggest the Clinton campaign sees challenges in the Wolverine State, which Obama won by 10 points in 2012. 

A Trump victory in Michigan would upend the electoral map, suggesting that Clinton could be in real trouble, with demographically comparable states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio also in play.

“She’s defending states she thought she had locked up months ago,” Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie said on a conference call with reporters. “A late surge of enthusiasm for Donald Trump is forcing her to make an unanticipated last-minute defense of these states, particularly Pennsylvania and Michigan.”

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook dismissed Trump’s efforts, calling his blue-state strategy a desperate end-of-game ploy with no real muscle behind it.

“I think he needed to get those into play much earlier,” Mook said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” 

“I’m not concerned that he’s spending so much time there at the end because he didn’t build a ground game.”

Clinton’s team trumpeted what it believes to be a superior get-out-the-vote operation that has been bolstered by concerts and rallies helmed by the biggest names in the Democratic Party and entertainment industry. 

On Monday night, the Clinton and Obama families were set to be joined in Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. Jay Z, Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder have sought to boost enthusiasm for Clinton at concerts in recent days.

Democrats are brightened by early-voting returns — more than 40 million people have voted already — that show a spike in Hispanic turnout, particularly in swing states such as Nevada, Florida and North Carolina.

Clinton could also benefit from the FBI’s announcement to Congress on Sunday that it has not changed its view on Clinton’s use of a private email server. The FBI earlier this summer said the former secretary of State should not face charges.

Both campaigns boasted about their turnout operations.

In Florida, more than 6.4 million people had voted as of Monday, with the Clinton campaign highlighting the fact that more than twice as many Hispanics have already voted than in all of 2012.

In Nevada, there are similar signs of a surge of Hispanics in early voting, with some experts saying the state is already out of reach for Trump, even though he has a slight advantage in the polls.

And after a slow early-voting start among African-Americans in North Carolina, the Clinton campaign said “black turnout spiked” in the closing hours to match 2012 turnout.

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC), meanwhile, crowed about besting 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s early-voting numbers in Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida.

The RNC said it has logged an 81,000-vote improvement in early voting in Florida, although it still trails by 87,000 total ballots cast. In 2012, the RNC said it lost early voting by 168,000 votes to Democrats.

In Arizona, a ruby-red state that Trump must win, Republicans are ahead by 95,000 in absentee ballots returned, the RNC said. The Trump campaign sent surrogates to Arizona in the closing days, a sign it’s worried about the GOP’s grip on the state.

Election modelers and forecasters have adjusted their forecasts in the final days to show an increased likelihood that Trump will win.

Data analyst Nate Silver’s model gives Trump a 35 percent chance of victory — a finding that has enraged and worried Democrats.

But most forecasts show Clinton winning easily. 

The final model from the University of Virginia’s Center of Politics gives Clinton 322 electoral votes to 216 for Trump.