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Tim Kaine: ‘If we win Florida, Hillary will be president’

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Tim Kaine has never lost an election.

He doesn’t plan on breaking that winning streak Tuesday.

“This is my ninth race. I’m 8 and 0, and I’m not planning on losing Tuesday,” said Kaine, the vice presidential nominee. “Here’s what I tell myself in every race I every run: I’m the underdog until they call me the winner.”

The Virginia Democrat rallied supporters during a campaign stop at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers on Saturday. The stop in Lee County was part of a two-day swing meant to turn out voters, and came on the final day of early voting in the Republican stronghold.

Democrats across the state are turning out in big numbers. State records show nearly 2.3 million Democrats have already voted, overtaking Republican turnout by a margin of 7,280 votes.

But Kaine warned Lee County supporters against becoming complacent, telling them the race was close and they needed to do everything possible — including knocking on doors, making phone calls, and encouraging friends and families to vote — to make sure Hillary Clinton wins on Tuesday.

Kaine highlighted Clinton’s agenda, contrasting it with what Republican Donald Trump has proposed. He often acted as an attack dog, going after Trump for his limited experience, outrageous comments, and proposals. Meanwhile, he said Clinton spent her “whole life focused on families and kids.”

“(We can’t) take anything for granted,” said Fort Myers City Councilman Johnny Streets Jr. “This is for me, and so many of you all, our luminous moment. I’ve had several of them: When I met my wife, when we elected President Barack Obama, twice, and the other luminous moment is when we celebrate the election of President Hillary Clinton.”

Despite stark differences between the two candidates, Kaine acknowledged the race continues to be tight. Clinton is leading in the polls, but RealClearPolitics shows she has an average lead of 1.7 percentage points nationwide. It’s even tighter in Florida, where RealClearPolitics shows she has an average lead of 1 percentage point.

The importance of Florida isn’t lost on anyone. Both campaigns are spending at least a portion of the final weekend in the Sunshine State.

Clinton campaigned in Pembroke Pines on Saturday morning, cutting her speech short because of heavy rains. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was scheduled to campaign in Gainesville and Jacksonville; while Kaine was scheduled to travel to Sarasota, before ending his day at a get-out-the-vote performance featuring Jon Bon Jovi in St. Petersburg. Obama will be in Orlando on Sunday.

Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, was in Miami on Friday, and Trump campaigned in Tampa on Saturday morning. Both men are expected to make at least one more stop in Florida before Election Day: Pence will attend a rally in Panama City on Sunday, and Trump will rally supporters in Sarasota on Monday.

“This is, I think, either my eighth or ninth day in Florida since I was added to the ticket. Did you know how important you are? You guys are very, very important,” said Kaine. “If we win Florida, Hillary will be president. It is that simple. You don’t have to worry about Ohio, you don’t have to worry about Nevada. Why wait until mountain time to know who is the president? Let’s win this one in eastern time.”

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