Billionaire Donald Trump and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton won sweeping victories in the New York primary Tuesday, bolstering their bids to secure the Republican and Democratic nominations for the White House.
It was the most decisive New York primary in decades and leaves self-styled democratic socialist Bernie Sanders with a tough decision on how to proceed as Clinton extends her overwhelming lead over the Vermont senator.
US networks called the race for Trump seconds after the polls closed, signaling a crushing victory that is likely to alarm his opponents desperately hoping to block his path to the nomination with a contested party convention in July.
Both Clinton and Trump will now look to replicate their wins in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, which hold primaries on April 26, as they edge closer toward a general election in November.
“To the people that know me the best — the people of New York — when they give us this kind of a vote it’s just incredible,” a delighted Trump, flanked by his family, told a Manhattan victory party.
Trump, whose campaign has appalled the Republican establishment, won 60.5 percent of the vote to 14.5 for his evangelical rival Ted Cruz and 25.1 for Ohio Governor John Kasich, with most of the votes counted, CNN said.
“Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated,” declared the 69-year-old to cheers and applause from supporters at Trump Tower.
The Texas senator, who has projected himself as the only Republican capable of beating Trump, is widely disliked across the state for insulting New York’s supposedly non-conservative values earlier in the campaign.
CNN predicted Trump would take at least 89 of the 95 Republican party delegates up for grabs in New York.
Clinton relished the victory in her adopted home state to stall momentum generated by Sanders who won seven out of the eight previous nominating contests.
“Thank you New York,” she said to chants of “Hillary, Hillary, Hillary” from jubilant supporters in a Manhattan hotel, where she walked on stage with her husband Bill Clinton and heavily pregnant daughter Chelsea.
“Today you proved once again there’s no place like home,” said the 68-year-old candidate looking to make history as the first woman president of the United States.