Heralding his campaign as an unprecedented movement in politics, Donald Trump held his final Florida rally Monday morning and implored supporters to deliver victory.
“This is it,” Trump said before thousands at Sarasota County Fairgrounds. “Good luck, get out there. I did my thing.”
Voters, he said, have “one magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system. … I’m asking you to dream big.”
Returning to the populism that fueled his rise, Trump said he went from being “the ultimate insider” to an insurgent who will upend politics. “I had to join the other side, which is you,” he said. “Our country was in trouble.”
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The rally — punctuated by chants of “lock her up” and “drain the swamp” — begins a furious final day for Trump.
He was to fly to Raleigh, N.C., where he’s locked in a similarly close fight with Hillary Clinton. He then goes to Scranton, Pa., Manchester, N.H., and Grand Rapids, Mich., before heading home to New York.
In Sarasota, Trump railed against Obamacare and the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s emails. “Hillary Clinton is being protected by a totally rigged system and now it’s up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box tomorrow.”
Trump said he would get tougher on terrorism and illegal immigration, including stopping funding for so-called sanctuary cities and deporting criminals. “And yes we will build a great wall,” he said, leading to chants of “build the wall.”
Florida is a toss-up, polls show, the intensity among Trump’s followers being met with a dramatic outpouring of voters in Democratic strongholds.
Clinton is benefiting from a surge in Hispanic voters and African-Americans had begun to erase what had been a sluggish start in early voting.
Trump portrayed an alternate reality. “She used the term 'super predator’ to define black youth,” Trump said. “They are not turning out.” He predicted he would win over Hispanics as well.
After a punishing multi-state tour on Sunday, Trump had a little fun as well, admiring a mask of himself that someone threw on stage. “Nice head of hair,” he said.
“Is there any place more fun to be than a Trump rally?” he asked.
Thousands of his fans — deplorables, as they proudly say — are convinced he will win.
“You can’t touch it. It’s hard to understand this movement. It’s more a feeling than a physical thing,” said John Cavanaugh, 49, of Bradenton.
“I like that everybody hates him. All the career politicians hate him. He’s going to shake things up,” said Emma Shelter, 35, of Sarasota. “I voted for Obama twice and look where we’re at. It’s scary.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi urged the audience to get friends and family to the polls tomorrow. “This so crucial because we know Florida is about the White House.”