Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will barnstorm for votes at opposite ends of the country on Wednesday, as Clinton goes out west and Trump camps out in the Sunshine State of Florida. With six days left, the polls have closed, as Trump has seemingly gained a little momentum in the last week, with Clinton's national lead down into the margin of error in most polls.
Here is where we stand on November 2.
1. On the road again for Clinton and Trump. This is the 14th consecutive day of campaign stops for both Clinton and Trump; neither have taken a day off the trail since the final debate in Las Vegas on October 19. By the end of today, Trump will have hit a dozen states since that debate, going to Florida on four different days, followed by three in Ohio and two in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Clinton will have hit eight states, spending part of 5 days in Florida, two in Ohio and North Carolina. Here is where the candidates will be on Wednesday:
2. Trump has stayed on message in recent days. Helped out by the FBI email story, Donald Trump has also done himself a favor over the last ten days, by showing some much-needed message discipline. No more griping about the women who accused him of sexual misconduct. No talk about suing them after the elections. No more on Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct issues. Instead, the formula is attack on the Obama health law, raise issues about Hillary Clinton and her FBI email probe, throw in a little on illegal immigration and the border wall, add in some calls for change, add water and stir. Trump has also stopped making news on Twitter. That kind of discipline could be a winning formula. If he can keep himself in check.
3. Clinton trying to turn the page. With the FBI email investigation still creating headlines, Hillary Clinton again on Tuesday made an effort to get something else in the news, as she not only questioned Trump's temperament and his suitability for office, but also tried to breathe life again into issues of how Trump treats women. But without something new on that front, it didn't seem to have urgency that was there just a few weeks ago. And if Donald Trump doesn't respond, it may not have the election electricity to put Trump on the defensive. Remember point #3 - Trump has stayed on message - this is a perfect example. Clinton attacks - does Trump respond? So far, no.
4. The polls seem to have closed. I have tried to stay away from reporting on individual polls during this election year, but you still have to keep an eye on the trends - where are the polls going. It is clear that the polls in recent days have trended much more to Trump. The Clinton campaign is putting late money into Colorado and Michigan, and Clinton will even go to Michigan on Friday. I have no idea if Trump is ahead or behind, but he certainly seems to be the candidate that has some juice right now, while Clinton has been trying to find an issue to get her more on offense, and off the FBI rope-a-dope.
5. The ground game. This still could be the area where Hillary Clinton has an edge over Donald Trump - and you never know - this could be the crucial advantage in a number of states. Get out the vote (GOTV), Ground Game, whatever you want to call it - it's a very important task that you cannot create overnight. For example, the Democratic Party chairman of Nevada reported yesterday that he was called by the Trump campaign and asked to vote for Trump, something that was obviously not going to happen, and a waste of time. Meanwhile in Florida, the Trump campaign was trying to hire people to knock on doors - with just one week to go. It might be a little late for that.