**Washington** Republican candidate Donald Trump took a lead in one of the most bitterly contested US Presidential elections but the fight with Hillary Clinton remained close in key battleground states.
The vote margins separating Democratic nominee Clinton and Trump remained tight in a string of states that will determine the eventual outcome of the contest that has badly divided Americans.
According to CNN projections, Trump had 128 electoral votes compared to 97 for Clinton. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
In key battleground state Florida, Trump was leading among white voters, including those with a college degree, while Clinton was buoyed by a rise in non-white voters, the New York Times said.
Roughly four in 10 Florida voters in Tuesday’s election were non-white, and they accounted for well over half of Clinton’s backers there, it said.
Trump was also leading in Ohio and Virginia. Early results also suggested tight races in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The former Secretary of State was projected to win in New York, Texas, Michigan, Vermont, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia, CNN said.
Trump was set to win in Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, South Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Mississippi.
Georgia, New Hampshire, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Wisconsin and North Carolina were too close to call, CNN projections said.