A top adviser to Donald Trump acknowledged on Sunday the Republican presidential candidate was lagging behind rival Hillary Clinton, as the Democratic nominee pressed a strategy of encouraging early voting in key battleground states.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Clinton had "tremendous advantages," including a large campaign war chest that had allowed her to spend millions on television ads ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
"We are behind," Conway said on NBC's "Meet the Press." But she added the Trump campaign was looking to sway undecided voters not ready to support Clinton.
As the polling gap has widened, Trump has said repeatedly the election is being "rigged" against him. He has not offered evidence and numerous studies have shown that the U.S. election system, which is decentralized and run by the states, is sound.
At last week's debate with Clinton, Trump challenged a cornerstone of American democracy by refusing to commit to honoring the result of the U.S. election.
"What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?" Trump said. In the aftermath of the debate, Trump said he would accept the election outcome "if I win."
Clinton, speaking at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, one of seven key swing states the candidates will focus on in the remaining two weeks until the election, blasted Trump's continued refusal to pledge to accept the outcome of the race, encouraging voters to turn out and cast their ballots early.
"He refused to say that he would respect the results of this election, and that is a threat to democracy," she said. "The peaceful transition of power is one of the things that makes America America."