GOP Tries to Defuse Talk of 'Rigged' Election 'We are going to run a good, clean election in Ohio' By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Oct 17, 2016 5:37 AM CDT Updated Oct 17, 2016 6:11 AM CDT 223 comments Comments Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds as he faces the crowd after speaking during a campaign rally on Thursday in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds as he faces the crowd after speaking during a campaign rally on Thursday in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (Newser) – With Election Day looming, some GOP leaders and officials are speaking out in defense of the election system itself instead of their party's candidate. Jon Husted, Ohio's secretary of state, is among those pushing back against Donald Trump's "irresponsible" claims that the election is rigged, the New York Times reports. "We have made it easy to vote and hard to cheat," Husted says. "We are going to run a good, clean election in Ohio, like we always do." A GOP election attorney echoes the concerns of civil rights groups, saying Trump's rigging accusations and calls for supporters to monitor polling places could destabilize the election, "which is very, very dangerous." A roundup of coverage: Politico reports that "many Democrats and Republicans" fear if Trump loses the election, he will keep on holding rallies and denouncing the election as rigged. "If he never calls to concede, he'll go down as one of the sorest of sore losers," says Ari Fleischer, who worked on George W. Bush's campaign in 2000 and says Al Gore "graciously accepted" defeat. Fleischer says it will be "destructive and corrosive" if Trump ends up fighting the election's outcome, causing his followers to question the legitimacy of the government. "Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity," House Speaker Paul Ryan says, per Reuters, while Mike Pence says, "We will absolutely accept the result of the election." Trump stepped his claims up a notch Sunday, tweeting that the election will be rigged not just by the "dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary," but at many polling places as well. The Hill looks at how the Trump campaign has narrowed its focus to four states as its path to 270 electoral votes becomes trickier. Voters in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania can expect to see a lot more of Trump in the weeks to come. Hillary Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, is trying to decide whether to spend resources in trying to turn states like Arizona and Georgia into battleground states or securing resounding victories in states like Pennsylvania, according to the Washington Post. Trump campaign reps, meanwhile, insist that the race is more competitive than current polls suggest—and that Clinton could pay a price for overconfidence. Early voting patterns suggest that Clinton is on course for wins in states like North Carolina—but could struggle in Midwestern states Obama won in 2008 and 2012, including Wisconsin and Iowa. "We are in bizarro world," Michael McDonald of the United States Elections Project tells Politico. "We've got non-uniform movement here in the country. Dare I say a realignment?" Jay Caruso at RedState.com calls Trump's rhetoric a "dangerous game," saying that to prevent violence, he "has an obligation to recognize an election loss is not the result of some kind of massive plot against him." The AP rates the states and finds that there are enough in the "Solidly Democratic" or "Leaning Democratic" columns to give Clinton the win if she can hang on to her current leads. Utah has shifted from "Leaning Republican" to "Toss-Up."