This is about as battleground as it gets: Both presidential candidates will spend part of the last day of campaigning before Election Day appearing at large venues in Raleigh several hours apart on Monday.
Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at Dorton Arena on the N.C. State Fairgrounds at 3 p.m. Hillary Clinton is squeezing out her final hours on the trail with a midnight rally at Reynolds Coliseum at N.C. State University — just 6 1/2 hours before the polls open.
Former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton will also attend the NCSU rally, the campaign announced Sunday night.
Pollsters and other prognosticators have included North Carolina as one of a handful of up-for-grabs states as both candidates seek the needed 270 Electoral College votes. Clinton has been to North Carolina 10 times since June, and Trump 12 times. Their relatives and surrogates have made repeat visits to the state, as well.
Trump planned to travel to 10 states in the final days of the campaign. Polls show a close race nationally and in North Carolina, but The New York Times’ Upshot blog said over the weekend that Trump’s chances of securing enough electoral votes are slim.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine is scheduled to appear with his wife, Anne Holton, and N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper in Charlotte on Monday, and then Cooper and Kaine will travel to Wilmington. Both events are described as get-out-the-vote rallies.
Cooper is scheduled to attend the midnight rally at NCSU.
Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana attended a rally at the Hickory Regional Airport on Sunday. Gov. Pat McCrory made opening remarks Saturday at a Trump rally at the Wilmington airport.
McCrory will also attend the Trump rally in Raleigh in the afternoon, his campaign said, after participating in a breakfast honoring veterans in Charlotte.
Trump’s event on Monday begins at 3 p.m. at Dorton Arena. Doors open at noon.
Doors open at Clinton’s event at 8:45 p.m. Monday and the event begins at 11:45 p.m.
Both events are open to the public.