U.S. presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have maintained their status as front-runners in the latest round of voting for the Republican and Democratic parties’ nominations.
Trump, a billionaire real-estate mogul, won Louisiana’s Republican primary and Kentucky’s caucuses on March 5, but Texas Senator Ted Cruz claimed caucus wins in Maine and Kansas.
Other Republican contenders, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich, made little progress.
In the Democratic race, former Secretary of State Clinton won the primary in Louisiana, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had victories in the Kansas and Nebraska caucuses.
Most experts expect Clinton to be the Democratic nominee in the November 8 general election. The polls will see American voters choose a successor to Barack Obama, who will stand down after two terms in office.
On the Republican side, however, the party is on the verge of a major schism, as elder party members line up against Trump and his brash, populist, and xenophobic rhetoric.
On March 3, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate for U.S. president, warned fellow Republicans against selecting Trump as their nominee to run for president, calling him a "phony and a fraud."
Earlier, 60 prominent Republican foreign policy veterans vowed to oppose Trump, saying his proposals would undermine U.S. security.
Trump has won 12 of the first 19 contests to emerge as the clear Republican front-runner.
But Cruz says his victories in six states demonstrate that he can defeat Trump in a head-to-head fight.
Rubio and Kasich are expected to hold on at least until primaries in their home states on March 15.
With reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, the BBC, and Bloomberg