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Trump, Clinton Campaigns in Final Days Amid Voter Discontent

  • VOA Staff

FILE - Early voters stand by campaign signs as they wait in line at a voting location in Dallas.

FILE - Early voters stand by campaign signs as they wait in line at a voting location in Dallas.

The campaigns of U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are criss-crossing the country in key battleground states in an attempt to energize voters as they enter the final weekend of a grueling and divisive campaign.

Clinton, who is slightly ahead in national polls among likely voters, told supporters Friday in the swing state of Pennsylvania that Trump’s history of insulting people did not start when he launched his presidential campaign.

“He took out a full a page ad in 1987 to insult [Republican] President Reagan so he has been an equal opportunity insulter,” Clinton said to cheering supporters in Pittsburgh.

Clinton will make other campaign stops Friday in the Midwestern states of Michigan and Ohio, where she will be joined by hip-hop mogul Jay Z and his wife and musical performer Beyonce.

Trump will attend campaign rallies Friday in the swing states of New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

People vote during early voting for the 2016 General Election at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Nov. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City.

People vote during early voting for the 2016 General Election at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Nov. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City.

A new poll, meanwhile, has found that a great majority of voters are "disgusted" with two presidential hopefuls but that does not appear to have discouraged millions from voting before Election Day.

A New York Times/CBS News Poll found that eighty percent of those surveyed felt the candidates' campaigns have left them repulsed. Yet, more than 36.5 million Americans have already voted early, according to the United States Elections Project.

"These are two individuals that evoke very passionate emotions on both sides," said Democratic political strategist Penny Lee. "They're both beloved within their own base and both despised by the other, so that has caused for some real polarization and very strong points of view," Lee added in an interview with VOA.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets people outside an early voting center in Lauderhill, Fla., Nov. 2, 2016.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets people outside an early voting center in Lauderhill, Fla., Nov. 2, 2016.

Vote for me!

David Almacy, a former White House staffer for former Republican President George W. Bush, told VOA the candidates still have some convincing to do in the waning days of the presidential campaign.

"I don't think anyone's minds are going to be changed between now and then for those who have decided they're voting on issues or political parties. I think for the undecideds in the middle, the challenge is determining between two unpopular candidates which one will actually be the better president."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigns at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Fla, Nov. 3, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigns at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Fla, Nov. 3, 2016.

Because of the strong divisiveness between Trump and Clinton, Almacy said the segment of the electorate who has remained silent about their political preferences are an untapped source of support for whomever can win them over.

Nevertheless, Almacy added: "I do think there is going to be a percentage of those who may not choose to vote because of their distaste for what we've seen over the past two years."

FILE - FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 14, 2016.

FILE - FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 14, 2016.

FBI scrutiny

As Clinton and Trump have tried to convince voters they are the right choice for the White House, they have had to endure scrutiny from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI Director James Comey last week opening a new line of investigation into Clinton's improper use of a private email server when she was the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.

The FBI has investigated possible links between Trump advisors and Russian financial figures. When investigating the hacking into Democratic emails, the FBI also looked into whether the cyber-attacks were attempts by Russians to influence the presidential election in Trump's favor.

None of the probes yielded any conclusive evidence that Trump is directly linked to the Russian government.

Lee, the Democratic strategist, said the FBI scrutiny is "is probably a wash" for both candidates.

"Where I do think it has perhaps dampened some enthusiasm is in the Senate races in the down ballot where you might see a little bit more ticket splitting," she said.

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