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Obama tells voters ‘the fate of the Republic rests on you’

By AFP 3 November 2016

President Barack Obama pressed Democrats black and white to vote in droves for Hillary Clinton Wednesday, warning Donald Trump was a threat to hard-earned civil rights, the country and the world.

Painting the choice next Tuesday in the starkest terms yet, America’s first black president trashed Trump as “uniquely unqualified” to be president.

Clinton remains the firm favorite to become the 45th US president, but with six days until Election Day Democrats are leaving nothing to chance given Trump’s radical stances.

“The fate of the Republic rests on your shoulders,” Obama told voters in Chapel Hill. “The fate of the world is teetering and you, North Carolina, are going to have to make sure that we push it in the right direction.”

Decrying electoral apathy, Obama reminded voters that he had won North Carolina by the slightest of margins in 2008 and that just decades ago African Americans were cheated out of their right to vote in parts of the United States.

“I won North Carolina by two votes per precinct,” he said “How can you say your vote doesn’t count?”

Around a quarter of North Carolina’s population is black.

“I am not on the ballot, but I tell you what. Fairness is on the ballot. Decency is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Progress is on the ballot. Our democracy is on the ballot.”

A string of Democratic Senate nominees are on the ballot too. The party will need a strong showing if it wants to win back control from Republicans.

In Chapel Hill, Obama took aim at North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, who he tried to tether hard to Trump.

For the last two years, Obama has faced a Republican-controlled Senate which sought to derail his agenda and hold up his selection of Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland.

Republicans countrywide have been coming under fire for suggesting they may not confirm any Clinton Supreme Court nominee — leaving the top court in the land with eight instead of nine justices.

On the eve of the election Obama will travel to New Hampshire where there is another tight Senate race, with incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte facing a tough challenge from Democrat Maggie Hassan.

A University of New Hampshire/WMUR survey late last month showed Hassan leading by two points, earlier polls showed Ayotte ahead.

Ayotte has struggled to justify her on-again-off-again support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

arb/mdl

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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