US Election 2016

Donald Trump: I would beat Hillary Clinton to White House

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Media captionDonald Trump predicts general election success

Republican Donald Trump has said he would easily beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a presidential contest for the White House.

The businessman with no political experience convincingly won the New Hampshire primary and has now laid out his strategy to go all the way.

Elsewhere, Republican Carly Fiorina has announced she is dropping out of the race after getting just 4% of the vote.

South Carolina is next in the state-by-state contest to be Republican pick.

In the Democratic race, Nevada provides the next challenge, with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders keen to carry on his momentum after a stunning victory over Mrs Clinton in New Hampshire.

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Media captionTrump v Sanders: Billionaire and socialist shake up US 2016

But Mr Trump dismissed him as an unlikely nominee because of his proposed tax increase, and focused instead on the former secretary of state and first lady.

"Polls are showing that I will beat Hillary Clinton easily," he told CBS on Wednesday morning, before outlining his strategy to win states that traditionally have backed Democratic presidential candidates.

"I have a chance of winning New York. You know, you look at these politicians they always talk about the six states - you've got to win this one, that one. You have to win Ohio, you have to win Florida.

"I can change the game because I really have a chance of New York, I'm going to win Virginia. I'm going to win Michigan, as an example."

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He denied he was unstoppable in the race to win the Republican nomination, however, and paid tribute to his friend New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is subject to speculation he may drop out after a poor showing in New Hampshire.

"I thought he was very effective. And I was surprised he didn't do better," said Mr Trump.

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Image caption Carly Fiorina bowed out of the Republican race on Wednesday

Later on Wednesday, another Republican candidate, Carly Fiorina announced on Facebook her decision to exit the race: "While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them."

The former Hewlett-Packard boss - and the only woman in the Republican race - ranked second to last in the New Hampshire poll, after placing seventh in the Iowa caucuses.

Senior aides for Chris Christie are also indicating the New Jersey governor may leave the contest, after he finished sixth in New Hampshire. Governor Christie is struggling to raise the funds and build support for his campaign to seriously contest his Republican rivals. However, his spokeswoman says "no decision has been made".

In other developments on Wednesday:

  • Ohio Governor John Kasich, second in New Hampshire, said he would not allow the negative tone of the campaign to overshadow his positive message
  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio said it was "just going to take a little longer" to win the nomination, after a bruising fifth place
  • Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is to unveil a radio advert that features his brother and former president, George W Bush

In the Democratic race, Mr Sanders met civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton on Wednesday morning in Harlem, New York City.

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Image caption Al Sharpton holds a lot of sway in the African American community through his radio and TV shows
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Image caption Marco Rubio boarded a plane to South Carolina on Wednesday
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Image caption Trump's victory exceeded expectation

But the influential clergyman said he had not yet decided whether he would back the self-described democratic socialist or Mrs Clinton.

Winning the African American vote is regarded as key for the eventual Democratic nominee as the primary race moves on in the weeks ahead.

Both parties will officially name their presidential candidates in July and Americans will finally go to the polls in November.

Key dates to come

20 February - South Carolina primary (Republican); Nevada caucus (Democrat)

23 February - Nevada caucus (R)

27 February - South Carolina primary (D)

1 March - 'Super Tuesday' - 15 states or territories decide

18-21 July - Republican convention, nominee picked

25-28 July - Democratic convention, nominee picked

8 November - US presidential elections

In depth: Primary calendar