Swing states the focus as election day looms

  • 06/11/2016
Hillary Clinton (Getty)
Hillary Clinton (Getty)

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have traded barbs as they entered the last three days of campaigning in the US presidential election with competing events in Florida, a swing state that could prove decisive.

Ms Clinton and Mr Trump are making their closing arguments to American voters, crisscrossing the US in hopes of convincing last-minute undecided voters and rallying their bases to turn out enthusiastically on Tuesday.

Opinion polls show Ms Clinton still holds advantages in states that could be critical in deciding the election, but her lead has narrowed after a revelation a week ago that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into a new trove of emails as part of its probe into her handling of classified information while she was secretary of state.

A McClatchy-Marist opinion poll released on Saturday of voters nationwide showed Ms Clinton leading by one percentage point compared to six percentage points in September.

The state opinion polls have found Florida as one of the most competitive among the battleground states.

The Real Clear Politics average of Florida opinion polls found Ms Clinton with a lead of about 1 percentage point - indicating the race there is a virtual tie.

Ms Trump spoke at a rally on Saturday morning in Tampa, Florida, where he continued to criticise Ms Clinton for supporting the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in the wake of announcements that premiums are going to rise next year.

"It's not going to matter because if we win I'm throwing it out anyway," Ms Trump said.

Shortly before Ms Clinton took the stage in Pembroke Pines, Florida, it began raining.

"I'm thrilled to be here and boy is this a hardy group, rain or shine you are ready," Ms Clinton said, her voice cracking with hoarseness.

She cut her speech short as she became soaked in rain, saying, "I don't think I need to tell you all of the wrong things about Donald Trump."

In North Carolina, Mr Trump campaigned along with his wife Melania.

"It is a movement for all of those who are left behind by a broken and rigged system," she said on Saturday of her husband's campaign.

Early voting began in September and the data firm Catalist estimates more than 30 million ballots have been cast in 38 states. There are an estimated 225.8 million eligible US voters.

Mr Trump will also campaign on Saturday in Nevada and Colorado.

Ms Clinton heads to Philadelphia, where she will appear with pop singer Katy Perry for an evening rally.

Ms Clinton has leaned on her celebrity supporters to draw large crowds in the final days of the campaign. On Friday night, she appeared in Cleveland with rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyonce.

Nationally, Ms Clinton has held her advantage in the opinion polls. Ms Clinton leads Mr Trump by 5 percentage points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released on Friday, maintaining her advantage in the national survey even as the race tightens in several swing states.

The YouGov polling estimate released on Saturday found Ms Clinton with a 3 percentage point lead and estimated she would win 293 electoral college votes, more than the 270 needed to win the White House.

The Washington Post/ABC daily tracking poll showed Ms Clinton ahead of Mr Trump by 4 percentage points.