In final push, Trump's aggressive campaign swing creeps past midnight

Trumps narrow path to victory  CNNMoney_00004316
Trumps narrow path to victory  CNNMoney_00004316

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Story highlights

  • Trump held five different rallies in five states on Sunday
  • "We're one day away from the change you've been waiting for your entire life," Trump said

Leesburg, Virginia (CNN)Donald Trump's campaign swing to rally supporters in five states on Sunday pushed into the wee hours of Monday, as the Republican nominee closed out his day nearly three hours behind schedule.

Trump has embarked on an ambitious last dash to Election Day that has brought him before crowds to offer his final pitch in more than a dozen different states since Friday where he has drawn thousands of cheering supporters and in turn served up the optics of a campaign roaring into Election Day with a gust of momentum at its back.
    "This is a marathon today. We're not playing games, right?" Trump said taking the stage here. "We'll call this the midnight special speech."
    But his aggressive five-rally schedule on Sunday that didn't begin before noon in Iowa -- with a 20-minute delay -- also caused the Republican nominee to keep supporters waiting for hours.
    By the time he arrived in suburban Detroit for his third rally of the day after a lengthy drive from the airport, the billionaire was more than an hour behind schedule. A packed house of nearly 8,000 greeted him there, setting up local news reports before Election Day for talk of a possible Trump upset in the reliably blue state, even though Hillary Clinton maintains a solid advantage there.
    In Moon, Pennsylvania, where Clinton is also leading, Trump showed up more than two hours late to raucous cheers from a crowd of supporters in an airport hangar who just moments earlier appeared weary and frustrated as they waited, some sitting on the cold floor of the dark hangar.
    One woman who was waiting with her elderly mother told reporters that Trump had lost her vote because of how late he was, which prompted a group of women Trump supporters nearby to begin shouting at her, accusing her of being a "traitor."
    There, the Republican nominee, who has strived to stay on message and stick to his prepared remarks, began to drift, taking a bit more pleasure in his media-bashing than usual as he called out the "corrupt media" as "bad, bad, bad liars."
    By the time Trump reached his Virginia rally, he was nearly three hours behind schedule -- taking the stage nearly 15 minutes into Monday even though he was scheduled to take the stage at 9:30pm on Sunday.
    But just as in Pennsylvania, Trump was greeted here by a packed crowd of supporters who cheered on their candidate, unbothered by his delay -- even though several attendees said they had arrived more than six hours earlier.
    "We've got stamina!" one man shouted when asked by CNN whether he had considered leaving.
    Trump too had "stamina" on his mind as he knocked his Democratic rival for being "fast asleep" as he rallied energized supporters -- contrasting his aggressive schedule with Clinton's, who held just two rallies on Sunday.
    "She's sleeping so beautifully," Trump said, picking up on his repeated suggestions during the campaign that Clinton lacks the "strength and stamina" to serve as president.
    Other than delivering a shortened stump speech in Pennsylvania and Virginia, the Republican nominee showed little signs that he was tired from the long day even as he acknowledged the day's grueling pace.
    But Trump did slip into a reflective mood as he crossed into Monday, his last day of campaigning before voters head to the polls on Tuesday.
    The billionaire grew wistful as he recalled his expectations-defying primary victories, even as he eyed the possibility that he could be decisively defeated for the first time in his political career.
    "One day, I can't believe it," Trump said as he remarked on how far his improbable campaign has come. "We're one day away from the change you've been waiting for your entire life."
    His last full day of campaigning will be equally aggressive as the Republican nominee again barnstorms through five states. He will rally supporters one last time before Election Day at 11 p.m. -- at least according to the schedule.