US midterms: Biden warns rejection of election is 'road to chaos'

US President Joe Biden has warned any candidate who refuses to accept defeat in next week's midterm elections could set the country on a "path to chaos".

He also urged Americans to unite against "political violence" in the November 8 vote.

Biden, a Democrat, said former President Donald Trump and his supporters were peddling "conspiratorial lies and malice".

Republicans countered that Biden was trying to "divide and bend".

Control of both chambers of Congress and key state governors hangs in the balance in next week's election.

Most estimates suggest the Republican Party will win control of the House of Representatives, while the Senate could vote either way.

Biden spoke in a nationally televised address Wednesday night on Washington DC's Union Station -- just a few streets away from where Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol last year in a bid to overturn the 2020 election results.

Biden blamed Trump - who he did not name but referred to as a "losing former president" - for inspiring threats by some Republican candidates to refuse to accept the result if they lose next week.

"That's the path to chaos in America," Biden said. "This is unprecedented. It's against the law. And it's not America."

The president has also sought to link Trump's election rhetoric to last week's hammer attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband.

He argued that Trump's "big lie that the 2020 election was stolen" was the driving force behind the attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi and the US Capitol riots.

"It was a lie that fueled a dangerous increase in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years," Biden said.

The president spoke as a federal judge in Arizona issued restraining orders against a group of Trump supporters, sometimes armed or wearing ballistic vests, who have been accused of harassing voters near ballot boxes in the border state.

The US government last week distributed a bulletin to law enforcement agencies warning of the "rising threat" of domestic violent extremism, adding that candidates and election officials could be targeted by individuals with "ideological complaints".

Republicans reacted to Biden's remarks by arguing that he was trying to distract Americans from his low approval ratings and US inflation.

Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who will chair the lower house of Congress if his party wins control next week, tweeted: "President Biden is trying to divide and deflect at a time when America needs to unite - because he can't talk about his policies that have raised costs. life.

"The Americans don't buy it."

A Reuters/Ipsos poll this week found that half of Americans believe voter fraud is a widespread problem, although such cases are extremely rare.

According to the BBC's US partner, CBS, of the 595 Republicans running for office across the state, more than half - 306 - have raised doubts about the 2020 presidential election.

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