Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gained on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton among American 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 percent to 40 percent, according to the Oct. 14-20 Reuters/Ipsos poll, a 4-point lead. That compared with 44 percent for Clinton and 37 percent 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 percent support to Trump’s 41.9 percent.
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 told reporters on Friday night 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.
“I think this site is fitting in terms of understanding a positive vision for the Republican party,” an aide said.
Whatever Trump did with women in the past is less important to them than what he may do as president.
At a Trump rally in Fletcher, North Carolina, Harold Garren, 75, said he was skeptical of complaints from women about Trump’s behavior. “I don’t believe all of this 30 years later, no,” Garren said.
Garren also shrugged off Trump’s lewd bragging about women, caught on the 2005 tape. “I’ve used that barnyard language myself,” Garren said, clarifying that it was when he was younger and before he knew better.
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.”
‘RIGGED’ MESSAGE FINDS SUPPORT
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 percent of them said a Clinton victory would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging.
Trump’s crowd chanted “Lock her up!” at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania after he declared Clinton a “corrupt globalist,” a reference to campaign documents released by WikiLeaks in which Clinton was quoted advocating free trade and open borders.
After the chant went around the room for several seconds, Trump responded, “Don’t worry, that whole thing will be looked into.”
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?”
Trump told an earlier rally in Fletcher, North Carolina, that he wanted to have no regrets about whether he worked hard enough to win the election, and urged followers to get out to vote.
“Win, lose or draw – and I’m almost sure if the people come out, we’re going to win – I will be happy with myself,” he said. “We have to work, we have to get everybody out there.”