Saturday, November 5, 2016

Presidential Election: High Early Turnout Among Latino Voters Could Mean Trouble for Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump are using the final Saturday before Election Day to make their closing pitches to voters, with Mrs. Clinton in South Florida and Philadelphia and Mr. Trump dashing to four states across three time zones — the sort of barnstorming tours presidential candidates traditionally have made in the last 72 hours before Election Day.


Supporters of Donald J. Trump vied for hats at a campaign event Tampa, Fla., on Saturday. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times
Except there is no such thing as Election Day any longer — more than 33 million Americans had already voted by Friday. And there are signs from these early returns, including high turnout among Hispanic voters in key states, that could be cause for concern for the Trump campaign.

Here is a look at what’s happening in the campaign as the final weekend begins:

Early voting could spell trouble for Trump in Nevada.

According to Jon Ralston, a political analyst for KTNV, high turnout from Latinos and Democrats in the state’s crucial Clark County is a bad omen for Republicans.

Democrats outpaced Republicans in Clark County by 11,000 votes cast on Friday, Mr. Ralston reported, giving Mrs. Clinton a larger firewall than President Obama had in the state when he won by seven points in 2012.
Thousands of voters, mostly Latino, lined up late into the night to vote, suggesting that Republicans could also face losses down ballot on Tuesday.

Clinton returns to South Florida in an effort to galvanize Latino voters as early voting ends in some counties.

Mrs. Clinton’s afternoon rally in Pembroke Pines, an increasingly diverse community in Broward County, is aimed at driving South Florida’s mix of Hispanic, black, Caribbean and Jewish voters to cast an early vote. Mr. Trump aimed to use a morning rally in Tampa, one of the country’s bellwether cities, to energize his loyalists and persuade the dwindling number of fence-sitters.

Analyses of the early vote suggest a highly competitive finish — fitting for the state that brought us the 2000 recount — but with Hispanics voting in far greater numbers than they did four years ago. If those voters break to Mrs. Clinton, it could be difficult for Mr. Trump to win Florida.

And that could effectively decide the election. Mr. Trump has virtually no path to 270 electoral votes without the 29 from Florida, the biggest swing state of them all.


Voting Early, and in Droves: Over 22 Million Ballots Are Already In

With eight days until the general election, more than 22 million people have already voted, through absentee ballots and early voting.
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At a rally in Tampa, Trump called Clinton a ‘constitutional crisis’ in the making.

Mr. Trump stuck to his favorite lines of attack at a Saturday morning rally, saying that Mrs. Clinton and her special-interest cronies will pillage the pocket books of regular Americans if she is elected and asserting that the Obama administration is colluding with the Justice Department to protect her from the legal consequences of her email practices.

Mr. Trump also issued warnings to companies who are considering moving their operations to other countries.

And, to the delight of his supporters, he vowed that a wall along the border with Mexico would happen no matter what.

“The harder they fight us, the higher it goes,” Mr. Trump said to cheers.

Trump mines for votes in Western push.

Taking advantage of the time zones, Mr. Trump has evening events scheduled Saturday in Reno and Denver, after an afternoon stop in North Carolina. Strategists in both parties were somewhat puzzled by the trip west — and not just because Nevada’s early vote period ended on Friday.

Nevada and Colorado are both increasingly filled with new voters, some of them immigrants and others transplants from other states. They have made the once conservative-leaning states far more friendly to Democrats. In other words, these are not good fits for Mr. Trump’s style of hard-edge populism.

If Mr. Trump loses the race because he only narrowly lost the older and whiter Rust Belt states, he may regret continuing to spend time and money in Western states with more forbidding demographics.

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On the Trail: Friday, Nov. 4

On the Trail: Friday, Nov. 4

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Paul Ryan joins Mike Pence on the trail in Wisconsin.

With Mr. Trump hundreds of miles away in North Carolina, a rare glimpse of party unity was on display in Mukwonago, Wisc., where Speaker Paul D. Ryan joined Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for a rally in Mr. Ryan’s home state.
While Mr. Ryan has generally steered clear from the Trump campaign in recent weeks, he recently acknowledged that he voted for Mr. Trump along with all of the Republicans on the ballot. On Saturday, he was more vociferous in his support of the nominee, promising to work with him to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“When Donald Trump says that he wants a special session to repeal and replace Obamacare, let me tell you that as speaker of the House, we are ready, we are willing and we have a plan to do that,” Mr. Ryan said.

The relationship between Mr. Ryan and Mr. Trump remains a frosty one, but it was clear that the highest ranking Republican in Congress feels genuine affection for Mr. Pence as a kindred conservative spirit. “I have seen this man when no one is watching this man be a man of courage, of integrity,” Mr. Ryan said. “He is from the heart of the conservative movement.”

Trump plans last-minute trip to Minnesota.

The campaigns are keeping their schedules fluid in the race’s waning, shifting plans and dispatching surrogates as polls and early voting returns trickle in.
Mr. Trump said on Saturday that he would make a stop in Minnesota before Election Day, and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, is expected to do the same. Whether the trip to the traditionally blue state was a sign of an expanding map or a shrinking one for Mr. Trump remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton is extending her strategy of trying to turn free concerts into votes.

On Sunday, she will return to New Hampshire to campaign in Manchester with the Grammy-winning singer James Taylor.

Clinton looks to dash Republicans’ Pennsylvania dreams again.

No state has been so tempting, yet so elusive, for Republicans than Pennsylvania. Mitt Romney made a last-minute trip there four years ago when it was clear that he needed to find an alternate path to 270, and Mr. Trump has refused to give up on it despite every public poll showing that he’s losing there.

He was there on Friday, rallying voters in Hershey. It is this central part of the state — what the Democratic strategist James Carville once cracked was the Alabama that stood between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh — that has kept Mr. Trump somewhat competitive.

Yet Pennsylvania elections are won and lost not in the “T” between the two cities, but rather in the heavily populated Philadelphia region.

Mrs. Clinton has been dominant there in the polls, benefiting from the mix of suburban moderates and liberal city voters. But there is no in-person early vote in the state so data-obsessed that Democrats are somewhat uneasy about where they actually stand. In particular, they are concerned about turnout among millennials and African-Americans tapering off from Barack Obama’s two wins.

The solution: Mrs. Clinton is coming to Philadelphia twice in the campaign’s closing days, once with the pop singer Katy Perry on Saturday night and then, in a flashing neon sign of continuity, with the president and Michelle Obama on Monday evening for one final pre-election rally.


Hillary Clinton greeted early voters in West Miami, Fla., on Saturday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

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