Election Day is here at last. America is set to decide between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump.
But the long, unusual and often ugly 2016 presidential campaign has been about the country’s changing demographics and the shifting coalitions of the two major parties as much as about the two main candidates.
Trump expresses confidence while criticizing the media and public polls.
As the polls opened on Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump said he would do “very well” in the crucial battleground states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, and acknowledged that after nearly a year and a half of campaigning the only thing left for him to do was wait and see.
“We’re going to win a lot of states,” Mr. Trump said in an early-morning interview on Fox News. “Who knows what happens ultimately?”
His voice raspy from one last after-midnight rally, Mr. Trump took some last digs at Mrs. Clinton for enlisting celebrities to bolster her crowds and he assailed the news media for trying to keep him down. A self-proclaimed lover of polls, Mr. Trump said he no longer believes most of them.
“I do think a lot of the polls are purposely wrong,” he said. “I don’t even think they interview people, I think they just put out phony numbers.”
But there is one vote that the Republican nominee knew he could count on this Election Day.
“I’ve decided to vote for Trump,” Mr. Trump said.
In a battle of the belts, it’s Sun vs. Rust.
The changing nature of the presidential map can be deduced from where Mrs. Clinton went on Monday. She was assured enough of her prospects for winning Florida, a state that George W. Bush won twice, to not return to the biggest battleground of them all, but she held her second event in four days in Michigan, a state no Republican has won since 1988.
Mrs. Clinton’s aides express confidence that the results will go their way, in large part because of their optimism about Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, but they are less bullish about their prospects in Michigan and states like Iowa and Ohio. It is a striking turnabout given how rooted Democrats once were in the heavily unionized Midwest and how much they struggled in the South and parts of the West.