Donald Trump, his Republicans and their Democratic rivals steeled themselves for a final frenzied day of campaigning yesterday on the eve of contentious US midterm elections, when voters render their verdict on the president's first two years in office.
Trump has seized on the nativist us-versus-them message that resonated with his base during the fiery 2016 campaign as he races across the country to secure votes, using inflammatory language as he paints a country under threat from hordes of illegal immigrants, rampant crime and far-left Democrats.
"They want to impose socialism on our country. And they want to erase America's borders," Trump told a raucous rally in Chattanooga, Tennessee late Sunday.
As Republicans aim to protect their majorities in the US House and Senate, Democrats hope their strong grassroots enthusiasm can help them win back at least partial control of Congress and thus thwart Trump's agenda.
ELECTION OF 'CONTRASTS'
"You gotta get to the polls on Tuesday, and you gotta vote," Trump implored a crowd in Macon, Georgia, where he campaigned for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in one of the country's tightest major races.
"The contrast in this election could not be more clear."
Obama also laid into the president for the investigations into Russian interference in the US election that are weighing on his administration.
"They've racked up enough indictments to fill a football team," Obama scoffed. "Nobody in my administration got indicted.”
DEMOCRATS OUT FRONT
The party of a first-term president tends to lose congressional seats in his first midterm. But a healthy economy favors the incumbent -- and the US economy has been growing with rare vigor.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggested that while Democrats retain an edge in their battle for the House, Republicans could take advantage of increasingly positive assessments of the economy and by Trump's harsh focus on border security.
Democrats painted sharp distinctions with Trump, insisting that only they will protect the health care gains made under Obama, that Trump has employed inhumane measures to keep migrants out, and that the divisiveness he has fostered must end.
Obama meanwhile did what many Democratic candidates have refrained from doing: directly challenging the president.
"There's got to be consequences when people don't tell the truth, when words stop meaning anything. When people can just lie with abandon, democracy can't work," he told a cheering crowd as he campaigned for Senator Joe Donnelly.