Democrats on track to win control of House

Voting Day - The 2018 Midterm Election Day / Cropped Photo: Shealah Craighead / SarahPAC / CC BY-ND 2.0 / (MGN)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Election Day (all times local):

12:20 a.m.

Women will break the current record of 84 serving at the same time in the U.S. House.

With ballots still being counted across the country, women have won 75 seats and are assured of victory in nine districts where women are the only major-party candidates.

From the Women's March opposing President Donald Trump the day after he was inaugurated in January 2017 through a stream of sexual assault accusations later that year that sparked the #MeToo movement, outrage and organizing by women have defined Democratic Party politics this election cycle.

More than 230 women, many of them first-time candidates, were on the general-election ballots in House races.

Despite the gains, men will continue to hold the vast majority of House seats.

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12:15 a.m.

Democrats have picked up at least 23 House seats, putting them on track to reach the 218 needed to seize control from Republicans after eight years.

Democrats knocked off at least 17 GOP incumbents, picking up moderate, suburban districts across the country. Democrats won seats stretching from suburban Washington, New York and Philadelphia to outside Miami, Chicago and Denver. West Coast results were still coming.

Democrat Abigail Spanberger of Virginia defeated Republican incumbent Dave Brat in suburban Richmond to put Democrats over the top.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is hailing "a new day in America."

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11:48 p.m.

Republican Josh Hawley wins Missouri Senate race, ousts Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

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11:40 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell has won re-election in Washington, beating Republican challenger Susan Hutchison.

Cantwell easily outdistanced Hutchison, a former Seattle TV anchor and state GOP chairwoman.

Cantwell is a former tech executive who previously served one term in the U.S. House and six years as a state representative in the state Legislature. She will be serving her fourth term.

It's been nearly a quarter century since the GOP has captured a major statewide race in Washington.

The last time voters sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate was 1994, when Sen. Slade Gorton was re-elected to his final term before being ousted by Cantwell in 2000.

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11:35 p.m.

Republicans have turned back Democratic challengers to keep control of the governors' offices in Arizona, New Hampshire and Ohio.

In Ohio, Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine defeated Democrat Richard Cordray on Tuesday to lead a GOP sweep of nonjudicial statewide offices. DeWine will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk).

Cordray had been an Obama-era consumer protection chief.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey defeated Democratic education professor David Garcia to win re-election in a race that focused on border security and education.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (soo-NOO'-noo) won another two-year term by defeating former Democrat state Sen. Molly Kelly.

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11:25 p.m.

Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan has won a fourth term in the Senate, defeating Republican challenger John James.

Stabenow campaigned as a pragmatic lawmaker who forges bipartisan agreement despite the partisan rancor in Washington. She cited her work shaping farm legislation and pushing a new law that allows pharmacists to tell consumers when they can save on prescriptions by paying cash instead of using insurance.

The 68-year-old Stabenow criticized President Trump's attempt to slash federal funding for the Great Lakes. She said James would have been an unabashed enthusiast of Trump with no governing experience.

James is a black combat veteran and business executive. Trump won Michigan in 2016. He called James "a star" candidate.

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11:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is deeming the election results a "tremendous success," as Republicans maintain control of the Senate but Democrats make gains in the House.

Trump tweeted Tuesday night: "Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!"

Trump spent the evening watching returns in the White House with family and friends. He spent the days leading up to Election Day on a campaign rally blitz, aimed at boosting Republicans running for Senate.

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11:15 p.m.

Republican Ron DeSantis will be Florida's next governor, riding President Donald Trump's support to a victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum.

The 40-year-old former congressman and Navy officer won Tuesday after Trump went to Florida twice in the final six days of the election to help increase Republican turnout.

Gillum was hoping to become Florida's first black governor. He conceded late Tuesday.

DeSantis was considered an underdog until Trump injected himself in the Republican primary, helping DeSantis cruise to victory over better-funded and better-known Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

DeSantis stumbled after his nomination, most notably by saying Floridians shouldn't "monkey this up" be electing Gillum. Although he took a more moderate turn after the primary, he relied heavily on Trump in the last days of the election.

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11 p.m.

Democrats have won half the seats they need to reclaim the House majority, while Republicans were picking up key Senate contests.

Democrats picked up at least 12 Republican-held House seats in early returns but fell short in a closely watched race in Kentucky as they fought to wrest control of the chamber after eight years of GOP rule.

Democrats needed a net gain of 23 seats to control the House and gain a check on President Donald Trump.

Democratic gains included several suburban districts eyed for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton, including seats outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami and Denver.

Meanwhile, Republicans Mike Braun and Kevin Cramer won Democratic-held Senate seats in Indiana and North Dakota, ousting incumbents Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.

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10:50 p.m.

Republicans have retained Senate control for two more years, shattering Democrats' dreams of an anti-Trump wave sweeping them into the majority.

The result was all but assured when Republican Kevin Cramer ousted North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and when Republican businessman Mike Braun ousted Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz fended off a spirited challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn triumphed in Tennessee.

The GOP's gains come even as the results in Nevada and Arizona have yet to be determined.

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10:45 p.m.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has handily won a U.S. Senate seat in his adopted home state of Utah after a campaign where he backed off his once-fierce criticism of Donald Trump.

Romney clinched the win Tuesday as he defeated Democrat Jenny Wilson, a member of the Salt Lake County council.

Romney was the heavy favorite to win the seat in conservative Utah, where he holds near-celebrity status as the first Mormon presidential nominee from a major party.

He replaces longtime Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who chose not to seek re-election.

Romney denounced Trump as a "fraud" and a "phony" during the 2016 campaign, but has since said he approves of many Trump policies.

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10:40 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich has been re-elected in a three-way race against a Republican political newcomer and a Libertarian former governor.

The engineer and former congressman won a second term, finishing ahead of construction contractor Mick Rich and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Heinrich cast himself as a vigorous adversary of President Donald Trump's policies in the Senate. He campaigned on promises to defend federal health care and retirement programs.

Heinrich recently became an advocate for decriminalizing marijuana, co-opting one of Johnson's signature Libertarian issues against government interference. He derided Johnson's proposals to slash federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid and the military.

Rich ran on his reputation as a businessman while embracing Trump and voicing anti-abortion sentiments.

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10:30 p.m.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz fended off rising-star Democrat Beto O'Rourke to win re-election in a much-watched Texas race that began as a cakewalk but needed a visit from President Donald Trump to help push the incumbent over the top.

Cruz finished a surprising second in the 2016 Republican presidential primary and began the Senate race as a prohibitive favorite.

But O'Rourke visited fiercely conservative parts of the state that his party had long since given up on, while shattering fundraising records despite shunning donations from outside political groups and pollster advice.

Cruz argued that his opponent's support for gun control and universal health care were too liberal for Texas.

Trump and Cruz were bitter 2016 rivals, but the president visited Houston late last month to solidify the senator's win.

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10:25 p.m.

Democrats are gaining ground in their fight for control of the House, picking up key seats in Florida, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

The early wins give Democrats a share of the seats they'll need for House control. They won two seats in Florida, knocking off two incumbents there, and have won three seats in Pennsylvania, where court-ordered redistricting made the terrain more favorable to Democrats. They have also defeated a Republican incumbent in Minnesota.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to win the House.

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10:20 p.m.

Democratic newcomer Sharice Davids has defeated incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder in Kansas to become the nation's first LGBT Native American in Congress.

The 38-year-old activist, lawyer and political newcomer already garnered national attention as part of a crop of diverse Democratic candidates.

Yoder was endorsed by President Donald Trump, but the suburban Kansas City district voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The district is a mix of fast-growing bedroom communities, established suburbs and poorer city neighborhoods.

Davids emerged from a six-person Democratic primary and energized voters and Democratic donors by emphasizing her biography. Her history includes mixed martial arts fights.

She's a member of the Wisconsin-based Ho-Chunk Nation and was raised by a single mother who served in the Army and worked for the U.S. Postal Service.

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10:16 p.m.

Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska elected to a second term, defeating Democrat Jane Raybould.

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10:15 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has turned back a challenge by Republican Patrick Morrisey to win his second full-term in a state carried by President Donald Trump.

Manchin survived the most difficult re-election campaign of his career against the comparative newcomer Morrisey. Manchin is a former governor who has held elected office in West Virginia for the better part of three decades.

Manchin heavily outspent Morrisey and portrayed himself as loyal to his home state rather than party ideology. Manchin was the only Senate Democrat to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Manchin was critical of Morrisey's New Jersey roots and his past lobbying ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Morrisey is a two-term state attorney general and a staunch Trump supporter.

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10:12 p.m.

Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder loses to LGBT Native American Democrat Sharice Davids.

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10:09 p.m.

Democrat Max Rose defeats U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, ousting New York City's only Republican congressman.

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10:06 p.m.

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn wins Tennessee Senate race, defeating Democrat Phil Bredesen and keeping seat for GOP.

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10 p.m.

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has defeated Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida, the second GOP incumbent House member to fall. Curbelo, a moderate and critic of President Donald Trump, was trying to defy the political winds against Trump in the South Florida district.

Mucarsel-Powell is an immigrant from Ecuador who has worked for several nonprofit organizations in Miami-Dade County. She ran on preventing gun violence and protecting the environment, but her main focus was on health care and the Affordable Care Act, which Curbelo voted to repeal.

Mucarsel-Powell painted Curbelo as a politician who talks like a moderate but tends to vote with conservatives.

Curbelo is a leader of the bipartisan Climate Caucus and bucked GOP leadership this summer by supporting a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide, a contributor to global warming.

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10 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin has won a second term, fending off a challenge from a Republican who ran as a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.

Baldwin led Leah Vukmir in fundraising and polls throughout the race.

Baldwin is one of the most liberal members of Congress. The differences between her and Vukmir were stark. They disagreed on almost every issue.

Baldwin made the campaign largely about health care and Vukmir's opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Baldwin argued for keeping the law and its guarantee of insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

The race was Wisconsin's first for Senate where both major party candidates were women.

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9:55 p.m.

Voters in Alabama and South Carolina have chosen to give full terms to a pair of Republican governors who rose to power because of political circumstances.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster defeated Democratic state Rep. James Smith on Tuesday to win a four-year term.

McMaster had been elevated from lieutenant governor in 2017 when Gov. Nikki Haley left office to become President Donald Trump's ambassador to the United Nations.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey defeated Democrat Walt Maddox to win a four-year term. Ivey was elevated from lieutenant governor in 2017 when Gov. Robert Bentley resigned amid the fallout from allegations of a relationship with a top aide.

Both Republican governors are paired with Republican majorities in their state legislatures.

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9:50 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar has easily won a third term in Minnesota.

Klobuchar defeated Republican state Rep. Jim Newberger on Tuesday. It comes as Klobuchar's name swirls amid the crop of potential Democratic presidential candidates for 2020.

The race was never close. Newberger is a little-known state lawmaker who struggled to raise money against the popular Klobuchar.

Republicans put far more focus on the state's other Senate race to complete the last two years of Al Franken's term. State Sen. Karin Housley is carrying the party's hopes in that race against Democratic Sen. Tina Smith.

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9:50 p.m.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says a Democratic wave may look more like a "ripple."

Sanders spoke to reporters at the White House Tuesday night, as election returns were still coming in. She says, "Maybe you get a ripple but I certainly don't think that there's a blue wave."

She says there is still a "long way to go," but the White House feels "good about where we are right now."

Should Republicans lose the House, Sanders says the president's agenda is not going to change.

Speaking on Fox News, Sanders said the candidates that Trump campaigned for are doing well. She also said that if Republicans should lose the House, Democrats should try to work across the aisle.

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9:49 p.m.

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell ousts Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo from US House seat in Florida race.

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9:48 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin wins a second term, defeating Republican Leah Vukmir.

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9:40 p.m.

A Democrat will be back in charge of Illinois now that billionaire J.B. Pritzker has defeated Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in one of the nation's most expensive gubernatorial races ever.

Pritzker put more than $150 million of his own money into the race against Rauner, who also spent tens of millions of dollars of his own wealth.

Pritzker's victory could restore a solid grip on government for Democrats, who already controlled both chambers of the state Legislature heading into Tuesday's election. Rauner's four-year term as governor had interrupted a Democratic trifecta that began in 2003.

If Democrats retain a trifecta after the 2020 elections, they would be in a position to control how boundaries are redrawn for Illinois congressional and state legislative districts after the 2020 Census.

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9:27 p.m.

Republican Mike Braun wins Indiana Senate seat, defeating Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

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9:20 p.m.

Democrat Ayanna Pressley has completed her quest to become Massachusetts' first black woman elected to Congress.

Pressley is also the first African-American to serve on the Boston City Council. She sailed through Tuesday's general election to Congress unopposed, two months after unseating 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano in a primary that was a national political stunner.

With no Republican in the race in the heavily Democratic district, her upset victory in the primary had all but assured Pressley the House seat, with only the remote possibility of a write-in campaign to potentially stop her.

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9:20 p.m.

Democrat Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has won a third Senate term, beating Republican Rep. Lou Barletta.

Barletta was an early supporter of President Donald Trump, who returned the favor by campaigning for the former Hazleton mayor. The president narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016, but Casey easily won re-election Tuesday in a state that has now given the son of the late former governor six statewide election victories.

Casey is a staunch critic of Trump's tax cuts, calling them a giveaway to the wealthy and corporations while middle-class wages stagnate. Casey also voted against Trump's nominees for Supreme Court.

Barletta is one of Trump's biggest allies on Capitol Hill. He campaigned on Trump's record, but he never gained traction and was heavily outspent by Casey.

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9:15 p.m.

Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker has been re-elected in Mississippi and Republican John Barrasso has won a second full term in Wyoming.

Wicker defeated Democratic state Rep. David Baria and two others Tuesday, keeping the seat he has held since 2007.

After Republican Sen. Trent Lott resigned in late 2007, then-Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to temporarily fill the seat. Wicker won a special election in 2008 to complete Lott's term, and was re-elected in 2012.

Barrasso defeated Gary Trauner in a race that was a referendum on President Donald Trump in the state. Barrasso argued that less federal regulation and federal income tax cuts enacted under Trump have helped Wyoming's economy.

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9:15 p.m.

Democrats have retained the governor's offices in New York and Pennsylvania.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo defeated Republican Marc Molinaro on Tuesday to win election to a third, four-year term. No Republican has won a gubernatorial race there since 2002.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf won a second term by turning back Republican challenger Scott Wagner.

Wolf's victory will ensure Democrats have a role in the next round of congressional redistricting after the 2020 Census.

Redistricting has been a hot topic in Pennsylvania, where the state Supreme Court earlier this year threw out the congressional maps drawn by the Republican-led state Legislature after the 2010 Census. The high court ruled the boundaries were an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and ordered new districts for this year's elections.

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9:05 p.m.

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has defeated Republican challenger Chele Farley to win re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Gillibrand was heavily favored in Tuesday's election and has been talked about as a potential presidential candidate in 2020.

At a recent debate, Gillibrand pledged to serve her entire six-year Senate term.

Gillibrand was appointed in 2009 to the Senate seat vacated when Hillary Clinton was nominated as secretary of state.

She rose to prominence in the #MeToo movement last year as the first Democratic senator to call publicly for fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations.

She has also focused on sexual assault in the military and on college campuses.

Farley works in the financial services industry. She's never held elected office.

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9:04 p.m.

Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi wins re-election, defeating Democrat David Baria.

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8:55 p.m.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has fended off his wealthy Republican challenger to win re-election despite a barrage of ads about corruption charges Menendez beat in court.

Menendez won a third term on Tuesday after a grueling campaign against Republican Bob Hugin.

Polls showed Hugin and Menendez much closer than expected in overwhelmingly Democratic New Jersey.

Hugin dug into his deep pockets for at least $27.5 million to spend on TV ads attacking Menendez over the 2017 trial on charges that he helped a friend with Medicare billing in exchange for lavish gifts.

Prosecutors decided not to retry the case after a mistrial.

The race was particularly significant because Democrats are defending 26 seats, including 10 incumbents running in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.

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8:50 p.m.

The incumbent governors of Arkansas and Rhode Island have won re-election.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson defeated Democrat Jared Henderson on Tuesday to ensure another four years in the chief executive's office for Republicans. The GOP also controls both legislative chambers.

In Rhode Island, Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo defeated Republican challenger Allan Fung to win a second, four-year term. She will work alongside plenty of fellow Democrats, who hold commanding majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature.

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8:50 p.m.

In Indiana, Greg Pence, an older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, has won a heavily Republican House seat that his famous sibling once held.

The 61-year-old Pence, an owner of two antique malls, defeated Democrat Jeannine Lee Lake, who publishes a bi-monthly Muncie newspaper.

The eastern Indiana seat is open because Republican Rep. Luke Messer ran in the GOP primary for the Senate. Greg Pence is one of Mike Pence's three brothers.

Greg Pence is a Marine veteran and once ran a now-bankrupt chain of convenience stores.

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8:30 p.m.

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia was the first congressional incumbent to lose as voters in her Northern Virginia district expressed their continued dislike of President Donald Trump.

Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Wexton won an easy victory in the wealthy suburban district outside Washington, which Hillary Clinton won by 10 percentage points.

Comstock tried hard to emphasize her independence from Trump, but Wexton, a former prosecutor, portrayed the two-term incumbent as a Trump ally out of touch with the diverse, well-educated district.

Comstock easily beat a Democrat in 2016 when her district went for Clinton.

The national focus on the race helped Comstock and Wexton raise more than $5 million in all, while outside groups spent more than $10 million.

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8:22 p.m.

Donna Shalala, ex-Cabinet secretary for President Bill Clinton, wins US House seat in Florida, turns it Democratic.

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8:15 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown has been elected to a third term.

Brown handily defeated fourth-term Rep. Jim Renacci (ruh-NAY'-see), who dropped a governor's bid to run for Senate at Trump's urging.

Brown is in his fifth decade of Ohio politics. He won his first election to the state's House in 1974 and unseated Republican Sen. Mike DeWine in 2006. With a history of blue-collar appeal and union support, Brown has backed Trump moves on steel tariffs and renegotiating trade agreements.

Renacci is a businessman who called Brown a liberal out of touch with Ohio values.

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8 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a potential 2020 White House contender, is among a group of five Democratic lawmakers who have easily won re-election to the Senate.

Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island also won. They were heavy favorites in their races.

Warren has generated considerable speculation about a possible run for the White House in 2020, recently saying she'd take a "hard look" at a presidential bid after the Senate race was over.

Murphy won a second term after amassing a fundraising war chest that was 100 times larger than his opponent's.

Meanwhile, Carper won his fourth term. He has never lost an election during four decades in politics.

Cardin and Whitehouse both won third terms.

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8 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a potential 2020 White House contender, is among a group of five Democratic lawmakers who have easily won re-election to the Senate.

Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island also won. They were heavy favorites in their races.

Warren has generated considerable speculation about a possible run for the White House in 2020, recently saying she'd take a "hard look" at a presidential bid after the Senate race was over.

Murphy won a second term after amassing a fundraising war chest that was 100 times larger than his opponent's.

Meanwhile, Carper won his fourth term. He has never lost an election during four decades in politics.

Cardin and Whitehouse both won third terms.

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7:55 p.m.

Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine has dispatched a die-hard supporter of President Donald Trump to win re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Kaine defeated Republican Corey Stewart on Tuesday.

The victory was widely expected as Kaine enjoyed large leads in most public polls and had a huge cash advantage.

Kaine is a former governor who was first elected to the Senate in 2012. He was Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016.

Stewart is a conservative provocateur best known for his outspoken support of Confederate imagery and hard-line views on immigration. He struggled to raise money and was ignored by national GOP groups.

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7:15 p.m.

As polls begin to close, the White House is stressing the effort President Donald Trump put into a political ground game aimed at putting Republicans in the win column for Tuesday's midterm elections.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in a written statement that Trump has headlined 50 political rallies, 30 in the past two months. He's campaigned for dozens of candidates at all levels of government.

Sanders says the Republican National Committee raised more than $250 million under Trump to defy what she calls "midterm history," which tends to favor the party that does not control the White House.

Sanders says the president and first lady Melania Trump are looking forward to watching election results Tuesday night with friends and family in the White House residence.

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6:01 p.m.

Polls close in eastern Kentucky and parts of Indiana, as nation votes in first midterm elections of Trump's presidency.

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4 p.m.

President Donald Trump is spending Election Day calling allies, tweeting endorsements and following news coverage, after concluding a six-day rally blitz in Missouri late Monday.

Trump packed his closing argument with hardline immigration rhetoric and harsh attacks on Democrats as he stared down the prospect of Republican losses that could shadow his presidency.

Faced with the possibility of keeping the Senate but losing the House, aides have begun laying out the political reality to Trump, who could face an onslaught of Democratic-run investigations and paralysis of his policy agenda.

Trump has already been trying out defensive arguments, noting that midterm losses are typical for the party in the White House, pointing out a high number of GOP retirements and stressing that he has kept his focus on the Senate.

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11:45 a.m.

Long lines and malfunctioning machines marred the first hours of voting in some precincts across the U.S.

Some of the biggest problems Tuesday were in Georgia, a state with a hotly contested gubernatorial election. Voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote.

At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, more than 100 people took turns sitting in children's chairs and on the floor as they waited in line for hours.

Voter Ontaria Woods said about two dozen people who had come to vote left because of the lines.

At a poll site in Atlanta, voters waited in the rain in long lines that stretched around the building.

Hannah Ackermann said officials at the polling site offered various explanations for the delay, including blaming workers who didn't show up and overloaded machines.

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10:50 a.m.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says the midterm elections are basically a referendum on Republican efforts to scrap Obamacare.

The California Democrat says at a Tuesday morning press conference that the election is "about health care."

Pelosi credits Democratic politicians and activists across the country with helping to fend off attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act following 2016 election results that left Republicans in control of Congress and the White House.

Pelosi says that after 2016 Democrats "didn't agonize, we organized."

She forecasts Democratic victories across the country, but with a small overall margin of victory. Pelosi says that as few as 25,000 votes nationwide could swing the results.

Pelosi has remained noncommittal amid speculation that she would step aside to make way for new leadership, regardless of the election results.

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10:25 a.m.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes the outcome of the U.S. midterm election will ease domestic tensions in the United States and enable Washington to focus on global issues.

Speaking to reporters in Madrid on Tuesday, Lavrov lamented that Russian-American ties have become "hostage to internal political squabbles in America."

Lavrov said he is hopeful that the election will help stabilize domestic politics in the U.S. "so that Washington could concentrate on some positive steps on the international arena."

Lavrov also reiterated Moscow's position that it is not meddling in U.S. elections.

He said, "All the accusations that we will be meddling in today's elections turned out to be empty statements."

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9 a.m.

Severe weather in several Southern states could affect voter turnout on Election Day.

A line of storms moved through the Deep South overnight and early Tuesday morning, knocking down trees and power lines from Louisiana to South Carolina. There were no serious injuries but an estimated 11,000 residents were left without electricity.

A separate storm front in central Tennessee overnight killed one person, injured two others and also left thousands without power.

The National Weather Service warned of a possibility of high winds, severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes Tuesday around Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Dry weather was forecast for the West and Southwest, but significant snow accumulations were expected across the northern Rockies.

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1 a.m.

A turbulent election season that has tested President Donald Trump's slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era.

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, nothing was certain.

Anxious Republicans have privately expressed confidence in their narrow Senate majority but fear the House is slipping away.

Democrats' very relevance in the Trump era depends on winning at least one chamber of Congress. They remain laser-focused on health care as they predict a nationwide "awakening" that will break up the GOP's monopoly in Washington and state governments.

The first polls close at 6 p.m. EST.



 
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