Polls open in pivotal Indiana primaries: US presidential election

Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Indiana, on May 2, 2016.
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Indiana, on May 2, 2016.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Washington (AFP) - Polls opened in presidential primaries in Indiana on Tuesday (May 3), with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton looking to consolidate their respective White House bids in the midwestern US state.

Trump is hoping voters in the Hoosier State will deliver knockout blows to his rivals for the Republican nomination while Clinton seeks to cement her status as the Democrat's presumptive nominee.

Voters trickled in to cast their ballots after polling stations opened at 6 am (1000 GMT), setting in motion a day of political reckoning for the movement to "stop Trump."

"We have to put him away tomorrow folks," Trump told a crowd in South Bend on the eve of the vote.

"The biggie is going to be in Indiana - because if we win Indiana it's over with, folks, it's over with. And then we focus on Hillary Clinton." A new NBC poll showed Trump 15 percentage points ahead of Cruz, fresh evidence that the Texas senator's bid to block Trump was under threat.

Clinton and her rival, Bernie Sanders, were locked in a closer race in Indiana.

The former secretary of state is already so far ahead overall that the Vermont senator's only hope now lies in the unlikely scenario of her failing to win a majority of delegates in the primaries, in which case her nomination could be contested at a Democratic convention in July.