On the national map of electoral votes, Virginia has ebbed between the light blue of “leaning Clinton’ to the grey of “toss up” in recent weeks.
Republican nominee Donald J. Trump early Monday morning made one last pitch to turn the commonwealth red for the first time since 2004. He made that pitch in an agricultural hall at the Loudoun fairgrounds—at the center of the county that has proved to be the bellwether of Virginia’s presidential elections for five decades.
A crowd of more than 2,000 waited until after midnight to hear Trump, who wrapped up a day of barnstorming with the Leesburg event, his fifth stop (and fifth state) of the day.
Supporters began lining up at the fairgrounds around 6 p.m. Trump’s motorcade rolled up at 12:10 a.m., cheered by the large overflow crowd that was unable to get inside the venue.
“We are going to have one of the great victories of all time,” Trump told the crowd. He said the campaign had been seriously underestimated and that swing state polls show the campaign performing strongly as Election Day nears.
There has never been a political movement like this in American history, he said.
“We’re going to have such an exciting night,” Trump said. “We are one day away from the change you’ve be waiting for your entire life.”
His speech touched all recent talking points, including pledges to repeal and replace Obama Care, cut taxes, create jobs, build the wall along the Mexican border, and rebuild the military.
In calling for tighter control of illegal immigration, Trump cited the murder of Danny Centeno-Miranda, a Sterling high school student on Sept. 4, 2015. Trump said the shooter was a known illegal immigrant who should have been deported long before the gang-related shooting happened.
The enthusiastic crowd frequently broke out in chants of “lock her up,” “build that wall,” “drain the swamp” and “USA, USA.”
The 9:30 rally kicked off at 10:25 p.m. when former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum led a line of speakers who urged supporters to get out the vote on Tuesday. Also among those speaking in support of Trump were Loudoun state Sen. Dick Black (R-13), Del. David LaRock (R-33), Virginia Republican Party Chairman John Whitbeck, Suzanne Obenshain, Tom Davis and state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, former Virginia Gov. George Allen, Oliver North and Jerry Falwell Jr.
It was Trump’s second campaign stop in Loudoun this year. In August, Trump held at rally in Ashburn and running mate Mike Pence appeared in Purcellville. Last month, Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump held a rally at Trump National Golf Club in Lowes Island.
Clinton made one Loudoun campaign stop, at a Stone Ridge coffee shop in May.
Trump’s Leesburg rally was his fifth of the day. He started in Sioux City, IA, and then went to Minneapolis, MN, Sterling Heights, MI, and at Moon Township outside Pittsburgh.
By the time the Pittsburgh rally was set to begin at 8 p.m., a line of thousands—Sen. Dick Black told the crowd it was 9,000—had gathered at the fairgrounds. The Loudoun Fire Marshal’s Office limited capacity to 2,200 inside the rally.