Full of smiles, Hillary Clinton blitzed through three states and four cities in a marathon final day of campaigning on Monday – with the help of two presidents, one rock "Boss" and Lady Gaga. Surrounded by his family, Donald Trump went on a whirlwind tour of five cities. Both US presidential candidates marked the end of a long rancorous campaign, making promises of “stronger together” and “draining the swamp”. Wednesday’s results could impact currencies, stock markets and capital cities.
The 69-year-old former First Lady is used to epic travel days – as secretary of state, she logged nearly a million miles on the road. Indeed, Clinton hopped cities with the ease of a seasoned stateswoman. On Monday, she left her home in Chappaqua, in the New York suburbs, to take on an itinerary of 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles). She visited Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina – three swing states – all vital to secure a historic win on Tuesday and become America's first woman president.
"I have some work to bring the country together," she told reporters as she boarded her Boeing 757 to Pittsburgh, a Democratic bastion.
"I really do want to be the president for everybody – people who vote for me, people who vote against me," she said. "We're just going to work until the last vote is counted."
About 2,500 people flocked to the campus of the University of Pittsburgh for Clinton's first rally.
After Michigan, it was back to Pennsylvania for a blowout rally in Philadelphia heavy with symbolism: tens of thousands gathered in front of Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were adopted. The crowds spilled over from Independence Mall beyond the security perimeter.
The rockstars Bruce Springsteen, "The Boss”, and Jon Bon Jovi warmed up the crowd on a night when temperatures dipped near the freezing mark.
"Let's all do our part so we can look back on 2016 and say we stood with Hillary Clinton on the right side of history," Springsteen said.
She was joined by two presidents – her husband Bill and Barack Obama – and one of her most powerful surrogates, First Lady Michelle Obama.
Hillary Clinton takes the stage in Philadelphia with Barack Obama pic.twitter.com/9tRcUnx9UK
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) November 8, 2016
"Tomorrow, we face the test of our time," Clinton told a crowd of 40,000. "None of us wants to wake up and think that we could have done more."
Charged and impassioned, Michelle Obama cheered Clinton on. “We deserve a leader who will ensure that our daughters are safe and respected,” she said. “And that our sons understand that truly strong men are compassionate and kind.”
My niece today: "Uncle Jim, if Hillary wins, does that mean I can be President too someday?" Yes, yes it does. #History
— Jim Messina (@Messina2012) November 8, 2016
"Philadelphia, you have somebody outstanding to vote for in Hillary Clinton," Obama said, passing the political mantle to his onetime top diplomat. "She will work, she will deliver, she won't just tweet."
Organisers did not remove the presidential seal from the podium used by Obama when Clinton spoke, as would normally be done – optics are everything.
After the rally, Clinton headed to Raleigh, North Carolina, another key battleground, for a midnight rally, the last of the day. Trump had already made a pit-stop here earlier in the day.
Her guest in Raleigh: Lady Gaga.
Clinton said she will vote in the early morning at a school in Chappaqua.
On the eve of voting, respected data journalist Nate Silver's site FiveThirtyEight.com gave the Democrat a 71 percent chance of victory, conservative odds compared to newer rivals.
#ImVotingBecause Hillary Clinton will nominate justices who will overturn Citizens United and take back our democracy from billionaires.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 8, 2016
Trump on the trail
Trump also had stops in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Michigan, closing with a late-night rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Trump, a former reality TV star who had never previously run for public office, began his last day of campaigning in Sarasota, Florida, where he and Clinton have been locked in a tough battle in a state with a large Hispanic-American voting population.
He later told his supporters in Scranton, Pennsylvania, they had "one magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system" by voting for him on election day, on Tuesday.
"It will be the greatest vote you ever cast in your lifetime," Trump told his supporters.
"To all Americans, I say it's time for change and time for leadership," Trump said to a crowd of supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire.
"Just think about what we can accomplish in the first one hundred days of a Trump administration," Trump said, promising the biggest tax cuts since Ronald Reagan, and to cancel "every illegal Obama executive order".
Promising to end "years of betrayal", tear up free trade deals, seal the border, halt the drug trade and exclude all Syrian refugees, Trump told his supporters: "I am with you and I will fight for you and we will win."
Trump will host his final rally at a late-night event in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Then the waiting begins.