Inside The Final Days Of The Presidential Campaign

If the marathon slog of a presidential campaign has you wondering if Election Day is ever going arrive, just imagine how Cecilia Vega feels.

The ABC senior national correspondent and World News Tonight Saturday anchor has been on the trail for 500-plus days, covering the candidates vying for the White House.

But the finish line is finally in sight. In just one day, Americans will head to the polls to pick our next president.

Vega is staying on the story until the very end, crisscrossing the country in the final sprint of the campaign. And on Tuesday, she'll be featured as part of the network's primetime election night coverage.

So what's it like to live every last moment of this crazy campaign? Vega, who has documented her time on the road on Twitter and Instagram, is giving Refinery29 an inside look at life on the trail over two of the final days of the race. Ahead, go behind the scenes of the press corps covering Hillary Clinton with Vega's photo diary.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Tuesday, November 1
One more live shot in the books. About to board another flight.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Tuesday, November 1, 1:45 PM
When we’re somewhere over America at 30,000 feet in the air, Clinton aides often come back and do what’s called a “gaggle.” It’s basically a mini press conference to brief us on the day’s news. The quarters on the plane are cramped, to say the least. Everyone fights for a space at the front of the pack. Since the real estate is so limited, we end up climbing on the plane seats; our heads are crushed by the overhead luggage compartments as we shout questions. We try to be civilized. Try.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Tuesday, November 1, 6:15 PM
It takes a village to get a 1 minute 30 second TV story on the air. This is our team covering Hillary Clinton. Everywhere Hillary Clinton goes, we go. I spend just about every waking moment with these guys. I see and speak to them more than my own husband most days! They are my family. We’re minutes away from World News Tonight in this pic…probably trying to confirm one final detail for the broadcast. Our secret to success? We laugh. A lot.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Tuesday, November 1, 7:21 PM
My front row seat to history is technically about 50 yards back on a press riser. The days are grueling. The travel is insane. I’ve basically been on the road for a year-and-a-half straight. But I wouldn’t trade one minute of it. At the end of the day, it’s about the father and daughter in this photo. We are telling their stories and documenting history as America chooses its next president.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Tuesday, November 1, 8:20 PM
Back on the plane. One of the best things about this job is the amazing women on the campaign trial (in this pic: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Fox’s Jennifer Griffin). For the three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) and most of the cable stations, the primary beat reporters covering Clinton are women. We are fierce competitors and great friends.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Tuesday, November 1, 11:50 PM
Nope. Still not done. I’m now knee-deep in writing my GMA story for the next morning. Recording the audio usually entails building my own "tracking booth" with hotel pillows on a hotel bed. It’s a glamorous life. It really is. NEED SLEEP.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Wednesday, November 2, 7:02 AM
The day starts before the sun comes up. We’ve already been going for a couple hours by 7 a.m., when Good Morning America goes on the air. The guy in the white shirt…that’s my producer Seni (a.k.a. my work husband). He’s on the phone with the control room in New York making sure everything goes smoothly while we’re live. Look closely and you’ll notice that I’m wearing jeans under my dress. Business on top, hot mess on the bottom. That’s how I roll. (It was cold; I couldn’t find my tights.) I admit — I have worn slippers to a live shoot before. Stay classy.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Photographic evidence of said jeans and dress. Yep.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Wednesday, November 2, 10:40 AM
These days, we spend most of our time on Hillary Clinton’s campaign plane. As soon as we’re off the air for GMA, I start working on my story for World News Tonight. We’re on the tarmac, shooting an element for that show, in this pic. I remember having to stop to ask Seni what city we were in (the answer was Fort Lauderdale). It’s a real problem. There are times when I literally have no idea where we are. Our record? We once hit six states in a single day during the primaries. SIX STATES! So you can’t blame a girl for forgetting where she is sometimes.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Wednesday, November 2, 10:50 AM
We roll deep on board "Hill Force One." There are heavily armed Secret Service officers everywhere we go. (The traveling press are part of Clinton's motorcade, too. It will be tough having to go back to obeying traffic laws when this campaign is over.) The plane is split into four cabins: The press is in the back; Secret Service in front of us; Campaign staff in middle; Clinton and a small group of top aides in the very front. I wish I could show you what her cabin looks like, but we’ve never been allowed up there. We spend most of our time on these flights waiting for Hillary Clinton to come to the back of the plane to talk to us (it rarely happens) and praying the onboard Wi-Fi works (also rarely happens).
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Wednesday, November 2
We eat. So. Much. Food.Too much...especially since there’s no time for exercise on the trail. This pic is basically my life on the campaign trail: Food. Electronics. News. Rinse and repeat.
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Photo courtesy of Cecilia Vega.
Wednesday, November 2, 10:30 PM
Not done yet… Another late-night rally. But the finish line is so close!
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