It’s a last chance today to sway voters in the U.S. presidential election.
Heading into Tuesday’s vote the latest polls give Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton a slight edge over Republican rival Donald Trump.
Clinton is breathing easier today after the FBI announced a review of newly discovered emails found nothing to warrant charging Clinton. But Trump continues to insist Clinton is corrupt and that the process is rigged.
Both candidates campaign today in multiple states in a last push to win votes.
Dawna Friesen with Global News takes a look at the unlikely rise of Donald Trump to the brink of winning the White House:
Since he glided down the escalator of Trump Tower 17 months ago, and then barrelled into the Republican presidential race, Donald Trump has occupied more space in our collective psyche than anyone – perhaps even he – could have predicted.
He seemed comical back then. A man whose bombastic, blustering, combative style made him a popular reality TV show host. We used to introduce him that way when we reported on him – the billionaire reality TV show host. Surely he couldn’t talk his way to the top of the Republican Party. Some news organizations even thought he was such a joke they refused to cover him as news and relegated him to the entertainment section. That didn’t last long, though.
Every step of the way, he was dismissed and ridiculed by ‘experts’ and ‘pundits’ and people within the Republican Party. How could he be president? He’s never been elected to anything. He has no government experience. He has a loose grasp on the facts about pretty well everything. He lies and makes up facts so often it’s impossible to keep track of them all. He doesn’t engage in thoughtful debate with his opponents, he attacks and insults them, using uncouth, childish, racist and misogynistic language.
And the more his critics made of it, the more he found his voice. And boy did he strike a chord.
It took him less than 10 months to vanquish 16 other Republican candidates and win the nomination.
WATCH: Donald Trump’s Greatest Hits
The biggest story since then is how the people who support Trump have found their voice. (And how others – including Russian President Vladimir Putin – see Trump’s rise as an opening for them to exert their influence.)
His supporters feel like someone is finally listening to them, and speaking a language they can understand. All that stuff his critics can’t stand about him, his supporters adore. They cheer him on because they believe he’s finally saying what everyone is thinking. They chant “Lock Her Up” with a mixture of glee and rage, forgetting that jailing someone without a charge and a trial is something only dictators do.
READ MORE: A look at Canadian Donald Trump supporters
Somehow, the billionaire developer who came from family money is seen as man of the people. Though he lives in luxury, flies in private jet and is about as familiar with the lives of his core supporters as penguin is of the life of a camel.
Trump himself calls what he’s created a “movement” not a campaign.
This is what he told a crowd in Orlando on Friday:
“Our magnificent, historic movement has surprised the world and defied expectations at every single turn. On Tuesday, we will have one more glorious surprise for the pundits, the politicians and the special interests when we win and return the power back to the people.”
WATCH: Trump supporters not ready to give up if their candidate loses
On Tuesday, those people – the American people – will decide. And in a democracy, what they decide must be accepted. Except by Donald Trump, apparently. He has already declared countless times that the election is rigged, and that he’ll only accept the result if he wins. That sounds again like a dictator, not a man of the people.
If Trump wins, what kind of leader will he be? If he loses, what kind of anger will be unleashed? The American customs agent who cleared me on the way to DC today asked what I was going to be doing there. I said, “covering the election.” “Did you bring your riot gear?” he asked.
He was joking, of course, but there was an uneasy undercurrent to his question.
Americans – and the whole world – are left sitting on a knife’s edge. Never in my lifetime has a US presidential election felt so unsettling.
By Dawna Friesen/Global News