Washington: As the primary season enters its last lap, the race for next White House occupant seems to have narrowed down to two New Yorkers - real estate mogul Donald Trump and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Ahead of the Indiana primary elections, major news outlets and political pundits projected that the Democratic presidential nomination is likely to fall into the lap of Clinton, while Trump is now expected to emerge as the GOP nominee.
And same is the mood of the nation, CNN said in its latest opinion poll.
As per a new CNN/ORC poll, 84 percent of voters nationwide think Trump will lead the Republican ticket in November, while 85 percent say the same about Democratic front-runner Clinton.
Clinton is the choice of 51 percent of Democratic voters, while 49 per cent of Republican voters say they would prefer Trump to be their nominee.
Bing, the major search engine of Microsoft yesterday predicted that at the end of the Republican primary process in California on June 7, Trump would have 1,366 delegates, 125 more than the 1,237 needed to become the GOP presidential nominee.
Similarly, Clinton would have 2,676 delegates, nearly 300 more than the 2,383 required to become the first ever woman to be a presidential nominee of a major political party. It would also be one of the rarest occasion that the candidates would be from the same city and having their headquarters on New York.
Addressing a massive rally in Indiana, Trump exuded confidence that he will be the Republican presidential nominee. "Honestly, if we win Indiana, it's over. It's over," said Trump, leading in Indiana by 15 points against his nearest rival Senator Ted Cruz from Texas.
Indiana has 57 delegate in this winner-take all state.
Trump, as per RealClearPolitics calculations, has 996 delegates, while he himself claims to have the support of at least 1,001 delegates. Cruz has 565 delegates and Governor John Kasich from Ohio has 153 delegates.
"They're finished. They're gone. They're gone," Trump said referring to Cruz and Kasich. Even a loss in Indiana, he said, would not give them any path to nomination.
"If we don't, they'll win it next week, or the week after,
or the week after. It's fine because they have no path -- was there ever an easy path? I mean, we'll win it in the first ballot. And when I look at these guys going around and talking to delegates, and buying them hot dogs, and hamburgers, and hotel rooms, or this or that, and they're all playing -- just so you understand, they're all playing for the second, third, fourth ballot," he said.
"They're never going to get there. We are way over and way ahead of projection and we'll do it on the first ballot. But if we win Indiana, it's over," Trump said.
Similarly on the Democrats side, Clinton has 2,165 delegates against 1,357 of Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont. Sanders had yesterday refused to cede ground to Clinton even as he acknowledged that his path to nomination is becoming difficult every passing day.
"The convention will be contested convention," Sanders said. But many in the Democratic party argue that the game for Sanders would soon be over. This would result in a Trump versus Clinton battle in the November elections.