Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hope to lock their frontrunner status in the US presidential race as Republicans face primaries in 12 states and Democrats in 11 on Super Tuesday.
Both Trump and Clinton head into Tuesday's crucial poll dominating their respective races, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.
While Trump had the support of nearly half of the Republican primary vote, more than his remaining four opponents combined, Clinton topped rival Bernie Sanders 55 percent to 38 percent among Democrats.
Even as the real estate mogul courted controversy after he failed to disavow a former Ku Klux Klan figure during a Sunday talk show, Trump's growing dominance in the Republican field sent shock waves through the party establishment
Trump blamed a bad earpiece for the oversight, and he has at other times disavowed David Duke, but his rivals were quick to seize on the incident to suggest that he is unfit to be the Republican nominee.
The New York Times reportied that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told colleagues they'll drop Trump "like a hot rock" if he wins the party nomination.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also told CNN: "We can't have a nominee be an albatross around the down - ballot races. "
But an unfazed Trump told his growing army of supporters to come out and vote for him.
"On Tuesday, you have a big day, " Trump told supporters at a big rally in Tennessee, saying he didn't care if someone was at death's door or if their wife was leaving them - they had to vote.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Clinton is seeking to exploit the Southern advantage that her campaign has long argued makes it impossible for Sanders to win the nomination.
Looking at the possibility of facing Trump in November, she jabbed at his slogan, "Make America Great Again, " at a buoyant rally in Boston. "America never stopped being great, we need to make it whole again, " she said.
On his part, Sanders' campaign has made clear that despite the size of his defeat in South Carolina - equal to nearly 50 percent of the vote - he is nowhere near giving up the fight. He told supporters in Minneapolis that they could "make history. "
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun. kumar@ians. in)