If you only read one thing: Barely 48 hours before polls close, FBI Director James Comey offered another bombshell Sunday in the form of a letter revealing that the bureau’s 9-day re-opening of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server had been closed with no change to its recommendation against criminal charges. It marked the latest wild turn in this unconventional campaign as Republicans cried foul at Comey once again. Just days after praising the FBI Director, Trump, who doesn’t use a computer, was back to accusing him of rigging the system for Clinton, questioning how the bureau could review 650,000 emails in such a short time. (Control+F?) Democrats just hoped the issue would just go away. But the damage to Clinton may have already been done, with more than 20 million votes cast over the time of the FBI review.
In the final hours, Clinton and her team of surrogates are deploying to drive up turnout among African-American voters, who are less enthusiastic this cycle with President Obama off the ballot, while focusing on states that have fewer early voters. “We’re going where the votes are,” one Clinton aide said. Trump, meanwhile, is adopting a more scattershot approach to a flurry of swing- and Democratic-leaning states as he looks to find an elusive path to 270 Electoral Votes. Both campaigns have released their closing arguments in the form of two-minute television ads, and the flurry of advertising spending in the final week is set to enter the nine-figures. Clinton’s team is growing confident that they have this thing locked up, while Trump’s campaign is touting intangible “momentum” as a sign in his favor. But the Comey letter let some of the air out of that balloon, and early vote numbers from over the weekend show weakness for his campaign in must-win states like Florida.
The future of the religious right. The Granite State’s moment. And Trump and Clinton nerves.
Here are your must reads:
The FBI Just Absolved Hillary Clinton. But That Doesn’t Undo the Damage
Many have already voted, and Trump’s supporters are unlikely to be swayed [TIME]
Why New Hampshire Could Decide This Election
Without the state, it’s almost impossible for Trump to reach 270 electoral votes [TIME]
The Religious Right Starts to Look Past Election Day
Rallying behind Trump, but looking for what’s next [TIME]
The Election Will Still Go on, Even if Hackers Attack
No matter what, the final vote will be legitimate, officials stress [TIME]
Inside Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s Final Dash
Two different strategies for the last days [TIME]
Nervous Clouds Hang Over Last Days of Hillary Clinton Rallies
Clinton supporters worried at the close [TIME]
Inside Donald Trump’s Last Stand
An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance [New York Times]
“You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks.” — Donald Trump said Sunday night in Sterling Heights, Mich.
“We’re glad this issue is resolved but for the record, this could easily have been learned before 1st letter was sent.” — Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon in a tweet
Bits and Bites
Melania Trump Modeled in U.S. Prior to Getting Work Visa [Associated Press]