US elections: Trump wins Florida, North Carolina in major blow to Clinton, networks report

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cheer during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Nov 8, 2016, in New York City.
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cheer during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Nov 8, 2016, in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Republican billionaire Donald Trump has added key battleground states Florida and North Carolina to his haul of state wins in the race for the White House, US television networks projected, dealing a crushing blow to rival Hillary Clinton.

Winning one or both of the southern US states was seen as critical to both candidates, and Mr Trump needed Florida - the Sunshine State - to have a viable path to the magic number of 270 electoral college votes.