Republican Donald Trump barnstormed into the battleground states Saturday promising to shock the world in Tuesday’s election to the cheers of thousands of supporters reinvigorated by a late slide in the polls for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary Clinton is the candidate of yesterday. We are the movement of the future,” Trump said on the tarmac at the Wilmington airport, a day after President Barack Obama campaigned in the state for Clinton. “We are just three days away from the change you have been waiting for your entire life.”
Trump was accompanied by his wife, Melania, who introduced him.
“We need a president who will give you what you have been waiting for,” she said. “This is your last chance.”
Later in the evening, at a rally in Reno, Nevada, Trump was escorted off the stage by security personnel when a fight broke out in the crowd. Minutes later, he returned to resume his remarks.
The Real Clear Politics survey of national polls on Saturday found Trump and Clinton tied in the only updated poll — IBD/TIPP Tracking — which includes Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson.
Polls in North Carolina had the race either a dead heat or Trump ahead by as much as 7 percentage points.
“In the last polls, by the way, we are winning in North Carolina,” Trump said, adding that he is winning in several other key states — a claim that’s disputed by several polls showing him tied or slightly behind. “We’re winning almost everywhere. This is going to be special.”
The rally included recurring chants of “Lock her up!” and “Crooked Hillary,” with the candidate warning that religious liberties and the right to own guns will be either upheld or eroded by the president who makes the next U.S. Supreme Court nominations.
Trump also reminded his supporters that he will end and replace Obamacare, the health care system with premiums that are rising more than 20 percent, according to a report in October, and bring manufacturing jobs back to the state while bolstering Southern military bases.
In an aggressive day of campaigning, Trump hit other battleground states of Florida, Nevada and Colorado. On Saturday he boldly said he would also hit longtime Democratic strongholds, including Minnesota.
In Tampa, Florida, a must-win state for Trump, the Manhattan developer criticized Clinton for appearing with entertainment moguls Jay Z and Beyoncé Friday night at a free concert in Pennsylvania to energize the vote for Clinton.
Trump said Jay Z used a stream of profanities in the concert, while Clinton has criticized Trump for using profanity at rallies.
North Carolina remains, according to some pundits’ calculations, a key for Trump if he is to win the presidency in the Electoral College.
Jodi Crowell and her friend, Bonnie Gore, both 50, said fellow Trump supporters are more enthused than ever and can taste victory on Tuesday.
“It’s building a lot more,” said Crowell, a Wilmington dental hygienist, who with Gore staked the head of the line in Wilmington for the 1 p.m. event at 4:30 a.m., bundled in comforters against the chill. “People are beginning to see what’s coming out” about Clinton.
They said the Trump campaign has been boosted by the latest FBI announcement that agents would investigate more emails related to the time Clinton used a private server to handle sensitive information while she was secretary of state.
“I think it changed a lot of minds,” said Gore, a retired dragster racer from Rocky Point, North Carolina.
“She is the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of the presidency,” Trump said at the rally. “If she is elected, she would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis.”
The race will come down to whether Trump can energize his fervent supporters against Clinton’s larger Democratic electorate who polls show aren’t as enthused about the former U.S. senator from New York.
“Hillary Clinton has picked an awful time to hit one of the rough patches,” said Larry J. Sabato, professor and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
Yet “her position as the clear front-runner in this race endures,” Sabato said. “North Carolina may be her ace in the hole.”