As the two presidential candidates travel across the US in a final push to win over voters, a security incident at a Trump rally in Nevada exposes just how vulnerable Trump and Clinton are. As do the latest poll numbers.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was rushed off stage at a rally in Reno, Nevada, after a false alarm when someone in the crowd shouted "gun." Two security agents seized Trump by the shoulders and accompanied him backstage, as police officers swarmed over a man in the front of the crowd with a "Republicans against Trump" sign. He was thoroughly searched before police escorted him away with his hands behind his back.
The man, who was identified as a Republican supporter by the name of Austyn Crites, was later released later and told the local CBS News Reno affiliate KTVN-2 that he had attended the rally to express his opposition to Trump. Crites explained that when he took out his sign, the crowd began to attack him, choking and beating him before "someone yelled about a gun."
The security scare at the Trump rally in Reno, Nevada, caused a major disruption during the event with Trump being evacuated by security personnel
Crites also said that his intention had been to create a stark contrast to incumbent President Barack Obama's welcoming reaction to a protestor during a pro-Clinton rally a few days ago, in which he urged the crowd to respect the protester. Crites said that he wanted "people to understand" the difference between Trump supporters and Clinton supporters.
Trump returned to the stage shortly after the event and continued his speech, saying "Nobody said it was going to be easy for us."
"We will never be stopped," Trump added.
The incident occurred as Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton traveled across the US to win over undecided voters in the final days before the US election on November 8.
Race remains neck and neck before Election Day
Opinion polls show that Clinton still holds advantages in states that could be critical in deciding the election.
But her lead has narrowed recently after revelations last week saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was probing Clinton's handling of classified information while she was secretary of state once more, after a new trove of emails was found.
A McClatchy-Marist opinion poll released on Saturday showed Clinton leading by 1 percentage point - compared to 6 percentage points in September.
A Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll on Saturday showed Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points nationally compared to 5 points on Friday.
Fighting for the swing vote
Both candidates traveled to Florida, which is considered one of the most hotly contested states in the election. The Real Clear Politics average of Florida opinion polls found Clinton with a marginal lead of about 1 percentage point - indicating the race there is a virtual tie considering the margin of error.
Clinton alleged that the recent probe into Clinton's emails while she served as secretary of state exposed that the FBI wanted to manipulate the vote in the Republicans' favor
At one event in Florida, Clinton was joined by Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager who was shot dead in 2012 by George Zimmerman. Martin's death as well as a series of further shootings of African-American gave rise to the "Black Lives Matter" movement, whose followers Clinton is trying to get on her side. In the run-up to her nomination as the Democrats' candidate, many protest movements like "Black Lives Matter" had endorsed her inner-party rival, Bernie Sanders.
Hillary Clinton's chief strategist John Podesta meanwhile said her campaign was also focusing on the states of Nevada and Michigan in the closing days of the presidential race. Michigan, with 16 electoral votes, has voted for Democratic candidates in every election since 1992. Recent polls indicated Clinton had a slim lead there. Nevada, with six electoral votes, has swung between parties every two presidential elections since the same year. Recent polls showed a nearly tied contest.
The Trump campaign meanwhile announced that the Republican candidate would be traveling to Minnesota to attract voters there. Minnesota has not voted for a Republican candidate since 1984. Trump plans further stops in the final two days before the vote in Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia - all of which have voted for Democratic candidates in recent elections.
Pence: we will accept a clear outcome
Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence meanwhile pledged that Donald Trump's campaign would accept a "clear outcome" to the US presidential election. Trump had said earlier during the third televised presidential debate that he would keep America in suspense on whether he would accept the outcome of the election or not.
Pence added, however, that both campaigns reserved legal options if there was a disputed result.
"The campaign has made it very clear that a clear outcome, obviously, both sides will accept. But I think both campaigns have also been very clear that in the event of disputed results, they reserve all rights and remedies," Pence said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."
ss/rc (Reuters, AP)