Presidential election 2016: Donald Trump calls vote 'once in a lifetime chance' as election enters final weekend

Opinion polls have grown increasingly close in the final days of the election

Rachael Revesz
New York
,Harriet Agerholm
Saturday 05 November 2016 14:46
Comments
Mr Trump has promised big change to America, but has cut a rather lonely figure on the campaign trail
Mr Trump has promised big change to America, but has cut a rather lonely figure on the campaign trail

Donald Trump said voting for him is a "once-in-a-lifetime chance to take the government back" from powerful campaign donors and return power to the American people.

During his first Republican party response to the president's weekly radio address, Mr Trump claimed that he and the Republican candidates for congress would bring badly needed change to government.

He promised to create 25 million jobs and cut taxes for the middle class by 35 per cent.

"I’m asking for your vote and your help in electing a Republican majority in congress, so that we can finally change this broken system and make America great again," he said. "And when I say great, I mean great for everyone."

​Mr Trump was sticking to familiar campaign themes by pledging to fix what he calls "terrible trade deals", end illegal immigration and suspend the admission of Syrian refugees to the country.

Without offering specifics, Mr Trump said he would rebuild the military and "take care of our great, great veterans."

The Republican nominee is spending the final days of the election charging across the country in the hope of winning over undecided voters.

Starting from a rally in Florida at 10am on Saturday, Mr Trump will fly to events in North Carolina and Nevada before ending his day at a rally in Colorado at 9.30pm.

Opinion polls have grown increasingly close in the final week of the election, after the FBI announced it was once again investigating emails relating to Hillary Clinton's misuse of her personal email server when she was secretary of state.

Since the fresh investigation into the Democratic nominee was announced last Friday, her lead shrank dramatically to within most polls' margin of error.

With only a few days to go until 8 November, Ms Clinton has only a single point lead in the latest head-to-head Fox News poll, although her lead extends to two points when third party candidates are included.

In state polls, which can be more accurate in the closing days of an election, she is also shown to be neck-and-neck with the property tycoon.

The rivals are tied in New Hampshire and Ms Clinton's lead has dropped to three points in Pennsylvania, which are both states that the Democrat needs to win.

Yet Ms Clinton leads Mr Trump nationally by five percentage points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released on Friday, maintaining her advantage in the national survey even as the race tightens in several crucial swing states.

And, FiveThirtyEight still shows Ms Clinton to be way out ahead, with a 54.6 per cent chance of winning the White House, compared to Mr Trump's 35.5 per cent.

Nevertheless, how people actually vote on the day could still change.

Concerns have been raised that Democrats could be put off voting after a huge rise in the numbers of Republicans who have signed up to monitor the polls. Two key court rulings on Friday forced North Carolina to restore thousands of names on the rolls after they had been removed close to election day, while a judge in Ohio warned the Trump campaign not to "intimidate" voters with harassment and carrying out so-called "exit polls" at the voting booths.

While Ms Clinton has been surrounded by high-profile allies and celebrities like Beyonce and Jay Z, Mr Trump has cut a rather lonely figure at recent events, only gathering an eclectic group of ex-politicians like Rudy Giuliani and former New Hampshire governor John Sununu who cracked a lewd joke at a rally about Ms Clinton's sex life.

At a rally on Friday night, Mr Trump pointed out the size of the crowds but spoke defiantly of the rather bare speaker line-up.

"By the way, I didn’t have to bring J Lo or Jay Z — the only way she gets anybody," he said. "I am here all by myself. Just me — no guitar, no piano, no nothing."

Trump advisers are still confident their candidate can win the three states of Nevada, New Mexico and Michigan, even if the most well-known Republicans in those states have shunned him.

House speaker Paul Ryan told a Wisconsin radio host that it was essential for Republican voters to "come home", although he barely mentioned Mr Trump.

Since the 2005 video showing Mr Trump bragging about sexual assault was leaked, Mr Ryan said he would no longer defend the nominee.

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