Polls close in OH as elections in 5 states wrap up

On Tuesday in the last special election before the midterms Democrats might just snag another deep red Congressional seat

Republicans seemed extremely anxious heading into the special election in Ohio's 12 Congressional District, and while it appears likely that their candidate won, Tuesday's election will probably do little to change the mood within the GOP. With most of the votes counted, the two candidates traded a lead of just a few hundred votes.

On this OH district: It's been Republican really since the Great Depression.

The year's last special election for a House seat was too close to call Tuesday night-but that didn't stop Republicans from declaring victory in an OH district they have held since 1983, the Washington Post reports.

An O'Connor victory in the race to succeed retired GOP congressman Patrick Tiberi, in a wealthy suburban district that has voted Republican for decades, would be a massive shot in the arm for Democrats seeking to take back the House. Early vote results heavily favored O'Connor, but Republicans had hoped that a vigorous ground game could make up the difference on Election Day.

Hours before polls opened, Trump again weighed in on Twitter, casting James as "a potential Republican star".

O'Connor needed Franklin County - which includes the state capital of Columbus - to come out strongly for him in order to topple his Republican rival. "He never stops working", Trump said of Balderson, a former Ironman race competitor. Republicans have controlled the district for 35 years. Republicans now hold a two-seat majority in the Senate, while Democrats need to net 23 seats to take control of the House. In fact, there are 69 Republican-held districts that Trump carried in 2016 by less than the margin in this area, or that Hillary Clinton carried outright.

The two races will garner the most national attention on a day when four states hold primary elections: Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.

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"I've worked in OH presidential and senate races for Republicans and the idea of #oh12 being a close race is sort of like hearing gravity is a regional phenomena", tweeted Republican strategist Stuart Stevens.

Ultimately, the results may not even be known for a while. Mr. Husted added there are 3,435 provisional ballots and 5,048 absentee ballots outstanding.

Polls have closed in Ohio's 12th Congressional District, Missouri, Michigan and Kansas. His pick for governor, Bill Schuette, the state's attorney general, easily won the GOP primary.

Balderson told supporters in OH: "I'd like to thank President Trump".

Although the race was still too close to call, Mr Trump claimed victory and took credit for the Republican's success. El-Sayed had the backing of top national progressives, including Vermont Independent Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Whitmer had the backing of labor groups and EMILY's List, and continues a streak of wins by Democratic women in primaries.

Meanwhile, Trump-backed candidates in the Missouri and Michigan Senate races - Josh Hawley and John James, respectively - won their battles for the GOP nomination.

The Ohio district includes numerous suburban women and college-educated, affluent residents that polls show have been the sort of voters turned off by Trump's chaotic first 19 months in office.

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