Donald Trump has stepped up claims that the presidential election will be rigged against him, as polls showed support slipping away from the Republican candidate only three weeks from the vote.
The billionaire fired off a series of erratic Twitter broadsides at Hillary Clinton and the media over the weekend as tensions mount ahead of the November 8 election.
“Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!” Trump wrote.
Some analysts have voiced fears that his repeated claims of fraud could spark violence from his supporters if he loses.
After the first election debate, Trump said he would respect the election result. But he backtracked in an interview with the New York Times last month, saying: “We’re going to see what happens.”
Trump’s running mate Mike Pence however sought to ease tensions, insisting his camp would accept defeat if that was what voters decided.
“We will absolutely accept the results of the election,” he told CBS. Pence was asked about a Trump supporter who told a newspaper he planned to go to polling places and make voters “a little bit nervous”.
“I don’t think any American should ever attempt to make any other American nervous in the exercise of their franchise to vote,” Pence said.
Underscoring how divisive this election campaign has been, a Republican Party office in North Carolina was firebombed on Sunday, with the message “Nazi Republicans leave town or else” sprayed on an adjacent building.
No one was hurt in the attack, swiftly condemned by Clinton.
“The attack on the Orange County HQ @NCGOP office is horrific and unacceptable,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “Very grateful that everyone is safe.”
Two polls out on Sunday -taken after a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against Trump that emerged last week — put Clinton ahead.
But they did so by vastly different numbers: an ABC News/Washington Post survey had Clinton four points ahead while an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll put her margin at 11 points. – AFP