The Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gained on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton among US voters this week, cutting her lead nearly in half, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Friday. The polling data showed Trump's argument that the Nov. 8 election is “rigged” against him has resonated with members of his party.
Remember folks, it's a rigged system, Trump told a Pennsylvania rally on Friday. That's why you've got to get out and vote, you've got to watch. Because this system is totally rigged.
Clinton led Trump 44% to 40%, according to the Oct. 14-20 Reuters/Ipsos poll, a 4-point lead. That compared with 44% for Clinton and 37% for Trump in the Oct. 7-13 poll released last week.
An average of national opinion polls by RealClearPolitics shows Clinton 6.2 percentage points ahead at 48.1% support to Trump's 41.9%.
Trump is slated to give a speech Saturday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, best known as the site of a decisive Civil War battle and cemetery, and the place where Republican President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous address. Aides advanced that Trump would make his closing argument to voters in his speech, and preview what he would do in his first 100 days in the White House.
Trump's campaign was thrown into crisis after a 2005 video released this month showed him bragging about groping and kissing women. He has since faced accusations - which he has said are absolutely false - that he made improper sexual advances to women over decades.
The Reuters/Ipsos survey found 63% of Americans, including a third of Republicans, believe the New York real estate mogul has committed sexual assault in the past.
Both candidates spent Friday in battleground states, where the vote could swing either way. Clinton, 68, campaigned in Ohio, while Trump, 70, was in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Trump, his voice lacking some of its usual energy in his third rally in one day, told voters in Newtown, Pennsylvania they had to vote or else he would have wasted a lot of time, energy and money.
Trump has been coy about whether he will accept the results of the election should Clinton beat him.
The Reuters/Ipsos data showed only half of Republicans would accept Clinton as their president, and nearly 70% of them said a Clinton victory would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging.
The New York businessman's assertion that the election is being rigged and his refusal to commit to accepting the outcome of the election if he loses has challenged a cornerstone of US democracy and outraged Democrats and many Republicans.
Asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition of power during Wednesday's debate, Trump replied: What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?