Clinton calls Trump a 'sore loser'

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CHARLOTTE, N.C./NAPLES, Fla., Oct 23 (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a "sore loser" on Sunday because of his refusal at their debate last week to commit to accepting the results of the Nov. 8 election.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, said Trump's comments were more consistent with what dictators in non-democratic countries might say about their opponents.

"To say you won't respect the results of the election, that is a direct threat to our democracy," Clinton told a rally at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. "The peaceful transfer of power is one of the things that makes America America."

"And look, some people are sore losers, and we just got to keep going," she added.

Earlier on Sunday, Kellyanne Conway, a top Trump adviser, acknowledged that the Republican presidential candidate was lagging behind Clinton ahead of the election.

Conway said Clinton had "tremendous advantages," including a large campaign war chest that had allowed her to spend millions on television ads.

"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 in Las Vegas, Trump was asked if he would honor 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.

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Clinton and Trump face off in the final presidential debate
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Clinton and Trump face off in the final presidential debate
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the third and final US presidential debate with Republican nominee Donald Trump at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is seen on screens speaking during the final presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the University of Nevada October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton begin their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton debates with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Mark Ralston/Pool via AP)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wait to begin their final debate at the University of Nevada October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Meg Whitman (C), Hewlett-Packard president and chief executive officer, and retired basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2nd R) attend the third and final presidential debate between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic contender Hillary Clinton at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas on October 19, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump points toward Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as he answers a question during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton exchanges views Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the third presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the third and final debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (not pictured) at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Debate moderator Chris Wallace smiles back at the audiencee before Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton keep their distance and do not shake hands at the start of the their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks as Republican nominee Donald Trump looks on during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrive for the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican nominee Donald Trump arrive for the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton steps on stage to debate Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/David Becker
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump adjusts his microphone while he listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Donald Trump Jr. sits between his wife Vanessa (L) and his brother Eric Trump (R) during the third and final debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the third and final debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (not pictured) at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks onstage for the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate with Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrive on stage for their final debate at the University of Nevada October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives on stage for the third and final presidential debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas on October 19, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton keep their distance and do not shake hands at the start of the their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
Chelsea Clinton, her father former U.S. president Bill Clinton, and her husband Marc Mezvinsky arrive before Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Melania Trump arrives for the third and final debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Ivanka Trump takes her seat before the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Melania Trump (R) greets vice presidential candidate Mike Pence before the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Debate moderator Chris Wallace speaks prior to the third and final US presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Eric Trump takes his seat before the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Fox News modeator Chris Wallace speaks before the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Actor Ted Danson and his wife actress Mary Steenburgen sit before Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Ralston/Pool
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton arrives for the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican nominee Donald Trump gestures as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton looks on during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican nominee Donald Trump walk off the stage after the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch the third presidential debate between presidential debate between US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Trump International Hotel October 19, 2016 in Washington, D.C. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch the third presidential debate between US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is pictured at The Hawk 'n' Dove bar October 19, 2016 in Washington, D.C. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton waves from the stage following the third and final US presidential debate with Republican nominee Donald Trump (background) at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks off stage as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looks on during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight is the final debate ahead of Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton departs the stage following the third and final US presidential debate with Republican nominee Donald Trump at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) debates with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight is the final debate ahead of Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight is the final debate ahead of Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures to the crowd as she walks off stage as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump smiles after the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight is the final debate ahead of Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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EARLY VOTING

As she visited North Carolina, Clinton urged her supporters to participate in early voting.

"From now until Nov. 5, you can vote early at any voting location in your county. And you know, this is a big deal," Clinton said at a campaign event in Raleigh.

Campaigning in Naples, Florida, on Sunday, Trump also encouraged voters to go to the polls to vote both for him and Republicans running for Congress and other offices.

"You have 16 days to make this happen, but you have to get out and vote, and that includes helping me re-elect Republicans all over the place."

"I hope they help me too. Be nice if they help us too, right?" said Trump, who has sparred with many prominent members of his party, including U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the country's top elected Republican.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday had Clinton leading Trump by 4 percentage points, and the most recent State of the Nation project showed Clinton with a 95 percent chance of winning the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure the presidency.

An ABC News poll released on Sunday morning had Clinton leading with 50 percent of likely support, compared with Trump's 38 percent. The poll found that the number of Republicans who said they were likely to vote fell 7 percentage points from mid-October.

As Trump battled to win over undecided voters, advisers and members of his inner circle sought to downplay his remarks about the integrity of the election, in an indication he would come under significant pressure to accept the election results if he were to lose.

Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said that by asking Trump to agree to concede, the media were making an extraordinary request. He said Trump would only fight if the election were close and was not trying to dispute a fair election.

"That's not quite what he's saying. What he's saying is he wants to reserve all options and if there is ground for a recount, I'll reserve all options," Priebus said on CBS's "Face The Nation."

Trump's son Eric said on Sunday that Trump would "100 percent" accept the results of the election if the outcome is "fair."

"I think what my father is saying is, 'I want a fair election,'" Eric Trump said on ABC's "This Week." "If it's a fair outcome, he will absolutely accept it. There's no question about that."

On Sunday, Trump picked up his first endorsement of the general election from a major newspaper when the Las Vegas Review-Journal backed his candidacy. The newspaper is owned by Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, who has been reluctant to donate to Trump. In 2012, Adelson spent about $150 million trying to help elect Republican Mitt Romney.

(Additional reporting by Alana Wise and Ginger Gibson in Washington; Editing by Caren Bohan and Peter Cooney)

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