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Trump Looks To Close In On Clinton In Battleground States


Now back to the final weekend of the presidential campaign. Donald Trump and his supporters are encouraged by polls that show a tightening race. NPR's Don Gonyea has been traveling with the Trump campaign through battleground states.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Here is how Trump spent the last Friday of campaign 2016 - first, a low-key event and small crowd at a country club in New Hampshire in the state where he won his first primary back in February.

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you, folks. You know this is where it all began - New Hampshire.

GONYEA: It was a rally, but it was a very subdued Donald Trump, one who's been careful all week to stay on message and not to be baited by Hillary Clinton or President Obama, who have at times mocked him at rallies.

Trump's attacks were still biting. And he still spins Clinton's email controversy into a conspiracy that he calls the biggest the government has ever seen. But he wrapped it up simply.

TRUMP: How can Hillary manage this country when she can't even manage her emails?

GONYEA: By the time he got to an airplane hangar in Wilmington, Ohio, he was starting to ratchet things up, saying Clinton is guilty of crimes even though he said there'd be a trial first.

TRUMP: She did things where - and we have our trial. You have to go - but - what - she's guilty. She's guilty.

GONYEA: Still, the airplane hangar wasn't close to full for the late afternoon rally - not so the final stop last night.


GONYEA: An arena in Hershey, Pa., was filled to near capacity in a state where Clinton has long held the lead and where polls show it getting tighter. There, Trump added this dig at his opponent.


TRUMP: And by the way, I didn't have to bring J-Lo or Jay-Z - the only way she gets anybody.


TRUMP: I'm here all by myself. I am here all by myself.

GONYEA: The crowd ate it up. These Trump fans, who said polls were rigged when he was way behind, now like what they see in new polls showing a closer race. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Hershey, Pa. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.