US Presidential Election 2016: Trump and Clinton edge towards White House

Hillary Clinton

The frontrunners in the campaigns to secure the Republican and Democractic nominations for the 2016 US Presidential race have traded blows as they edged closer to the finish line last night with primary wins in several north east states.

Donald Trump secured victory in all five states that held contests yesterday - Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Hillary Clinton, whose lead over rival Bernie Sanders already seemed insurmountable, chalked up victories in four of the states, with Sanders edging her out in tiny Rhode Island.

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In a sign that the two candidates are stretching their leads over rivals from their own party, in their victory speeches they took aim at one another.

"Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get five per cent of the vote," Trump blasted.

Hillary Clinton responded directly to Donald Trump's accusations that she was playing the "woman card": "If fighting for women's healthcare and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in."

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After his rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich struck a mini-pact to effectively stand down in key states where the other has a better chance of beating Trump, the billionaire's victories give him a big step towards securing the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican Party's national convention in July.

Trump is predicted to have scooped 105 of the 118 delegates available in yesterday's contests, taking his total to 950 - fewer than 300 short of the required amount.

"As far as I'm concerned, this thing is over," he said.

Full story: US Presidential Election 2016: Trump and Clinton edge towards White House: City A.M.