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Don Gonyea

The Republican National Committee says its data-driven voter turnout operation — which used lessons learned by studying President Obama's winning campaigns of 2008 and 2012 — was a key to its success up and down the ballot last week.

Donald Trump shocked the pollsters and pundits not just by winning but by taking a surprisingly large Electoral College victory. And just as important to the RNC is the fact that the GOP was able to stave off a takeover of the Senate by Democrats, in a year when Republicans had many more incumbents and GOP-held seats to defend.

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It's Election Day. Millions of Americans have voted already, and millions more are at the polls today.

KIM CLAY: Our right to vote is one of those rights that our ancestors died for.

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Now back to the final weekend of the presidential campaign. Donald Trump and his supporters are encouraged by polls that show a tightening race. NPR's Don Gonyea has been traveling with the Trump campaign through battleground states.

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Every reporter has their habits and rituals while on the campaign trail chasing candidates and stories.

One of mine — and I've been doing it for years — is to build a short playlist of songs to listen to in my rental car that somehow relate to the place I'm in. I made one last year as I crisscrossed Iowa and earlier this year for New Hampshire's primary.

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It's a headline you can write every election year:

FLORIDA THE BIG BATTLEGROUND IN THIS YEARS' RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE

But that banner belies significant changes taking place in rapid fashion.

In fact, if your image of Florida politics is senior citizens peppering candidates with questions about Social Security and Medicare, it's time for an update. Or a new headline.

Perhaps something like this:

MILLENNIALS A RISING FORCE IN FLORIDA ELECTIONS

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Hillary Clinton spent this week meeting voters in what are called battleground states. Many are motivated even more by the need to defeat Donald Trump. NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports.

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Many prominent Republicans are avoiding Cleveland this week. Among the most notable is Senator John McCain. He's campaigning for re-election back home in Arizona. NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea caught up with McCain in Flagstaff.

This story from the Detroit suburbs is a part of A Nation Engaged, a series where NPR and several member stations are taking a look at battleground communities.


Donald Trump is pinning his election hopes on a group of voters with long ties to the Democratic Party, but who've been known to abandon that loyalty — from time to time — to vote Republican.

We're talking working-class white men, especially union members, the Reagan Democrats of the 1980s.

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