FLETCHER, N.C. (REUTERS) - Republican candidate Donald Trump said on Friday (Oct 22) that "win, lose or draw," he will be happy he gave his all in the race for the White House, seemingly moving away from his refusal to commit to accepting the result of Nov 8 election.
Trump told a rally in North Carolina he wanted to have no regrets about whether he worked hard enough to win the election and urged followers to get out to vote in large enough numbers to defeat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
"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. As I always say, I don't want to think if only I did one more rally, I would have won North Carolina," Trump said.
"I never want to look back, I never want to say that about myself. We have to work, we have to get everybody out there," he told the event in the town of Fletcher.
During a debate with Clinton on Wednesday (Oct 19) night, the New York businessman reiterated his assertion that the election is being rigged against him and refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the election if he loses. His remarks challenged a cornerstone of American democracy and outraged Democrats and many Republicans.
Trump, who is lagging in opinion polls, has offered no widely accepted evidence to back up his vote-rigging claims, and numerous studies have shown that the US election system, which is run by the states, is sound.
On Friday, he only made a brief reference to the accusation during his speech in North Carolina, one of the battleground states where the election might be decided. Trump said the"corrupt" media had helped Clinton by giving her advance notice of questions to be asked at a campaign town hall event.
Trump called on supporters to make sure they get to the polls on Election Day. "We cannot take a chance of blowing it,"he said.
Trump's refusal during Wednesday's debate to commit to accepting the election outcome became the latest flashpoint in an unusually acrimonious race.
Asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition of power, Trump replied in the debate: "What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?"
Clinton, a former US secretary of state, called the comment "horrifying."
The two candidates took their bitter contest on Thursday (Oct 21) to a white-tie charity dinner in New York City, where Trump drew boos from the well-heeled audience when his jokes veered well into the jagged terrain of his campaign speeches.
Trump stepped up allegations that the election is being rigged as he faces accusations - which he has strongly denied - that he made improper sexual advances to women, including groping and kissing, over decades.
Clinton's lead over Trump in national opinion polls has grown in recent weeks. An average of polls by RealClearPolitics shows her currently 6.3 points ahead at 48.5 per cent support to Trump's 42.2 per cent.
Trump's attorneys asked a US judge on Thursday to bar accusations about his personal conduct that have arisen during the election campaign from an upcoming civil trial over Trump University.