Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ahead in primaries

Donald Trump speaks at news conference during today's primaries (Reuters)
Donald Trump speaks at news conference during today's primaries (Reuters)

Today's United States primary election results are in -- the votes have been counted 99 percent of the way, and the Republican winner looks to be controversial candidate Donald Trump.

Mr Trump won Florida 46 percent, Illinois 39 percent, North Carolina 41 percent and was ahead in Missouri with 99 percent of the vote counted at 41 percent.

John Kasich was the only other Republican candidate to claim a win his home state of Ohio, with 47 percent.

Marco Rubio  who has previously criticised MrDonald Trump and Hillary Clinton ahead in primaries Trump as being an embarrassment to the party -- dropped out of the race today, congratulating Mr Trump on his victory in Florida -- Mr Rubio's home state.

Mr Trump thanked his supporters and said this process has toughened him up.

"We're going to go forward and we're going to win. We're going to have great, great victories for this country," Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump is well on his way to winning the Republican presidential nomination, having scored 621 of the 1,237 delegates needed.

Ted Cruz is his nearest competition with 395 delegates, he lost out to Mr Trump by 8 percent in Illinois. The mass crowds waiting for the senator, who rallied from the state, chanted in support.

"We are here tonight for something a lot more important than politics. We are here because our country is in crisis," Mr Cruz told the crowd.

But it was all in vain.

Meanwhile front runner for the Democratic side Hillary Clinton used a state victory speech to condemn the former New York businessman.

"Our commander in chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it," Ms Clinton said.

Ms Clinton has almost double the amount of delegates on fellow Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders -- 1,094 of the 2,383 needed -- Mr Sanders behind with 774.

Ms Clinton looks though she could take a five-state sweep. She already has won Florida at 65 percent, Illinois at 51 percent, North Carolina at 55 percent and Ohio at 57 percent.

The only wild card remaining is Missouri, where candidates are left with a 0.2 percent difference, with votes yet to be counted.

The race is well and truly underway for presidency, with general elections fast approaching in November.