iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is on track to win the hotly-contested senate contest for the Texas senate seat, ABC News can project based on exit polls, defeating Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
Preliminary results from the national exit poll are out, and polls are closed in half of the country. Here's the latest:
10:10 p.m. ET — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is on track to win the senate seat in Texas, ABC News can project based on exit polls, defeating Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
10:10 p.m. ET — Democrat Mikie Sherrill is on track to win in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, ABC News can project based on exit polls. Sherrill will take over the seat from Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who has represented the district for more than two decades. Trump barely won the district in 2016.
9:57 p.m. ET — Sharice Davids is on track to win Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, ABC News projects, based on exit polls. The political newcomer will be the first Native American lesbian woman elected to Congress. She’s also the second openly lesbian woman in Congress.
Davids is from the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin and has focused her career on the advancement of Native Americans.
Elected to represent Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, Davids was a longshot in her campaign against four-term Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder.
9:42 p.m. ET — In the third Democratic pick-up of the night, Rep. Connor Lambwill win his election against Rep. Keith Rothfus, ABC News can project based on exit polls. It was the only incumbent versus incumbent race in the nation.
9:40 p.m. ET — In multiple Senate races, Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin are all on track to win their race, ABC News projects, based on voting data.
9:40 p.m. ET — In Illinois, ABC News can project based on the vote that Democrat J.B. Pritzker will defeat incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. This marks a flip in the statehouse for Illinois.
Pritzker, the brother of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, will become one of the wealthiest people to ever hold elected office in the U.S.
9:36 p.m. ET — Jared Polis is on track to win the gubernatorial race in Colorado, ABC News projects, based on exit polls. Polis will be the first openly gay man to win a U.S. gubernatorial election.
9:25 p.m. ET — In Florida, Amendment 4 — which provides voting rights for felons — is on track to pass, according to ABC News projections, based on exit polls. There are currently more disenfranchised felons in that state, more than any other at 1.5 million. Previously, felons had to appeal directly to the governor.
9:23 p.m. ET —
Kim Davis, the county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in Rowan County, Kentucky lost her bid to a second term Tuesday night.
In an upset, Davis was edged out by Democratic opponent, Elwood Caudill Jr., by about 700 votes, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Republican Carol Miller is on track to win the seat in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, ABC News can project based on exit polls. Miller ran against Democrat Richard Ojeda. Ojeda campaigned hard against big pharmaceutical companies in a deep-red district heavily hit by the opioid crisis.
9:07 p.m. ET — Incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin is on track to win re-election in the senate race in West Virginia, ABC News projects, based on exit polling and analysis of voting data.
Manchin was the only Democrat to vote to confirm Trump's Supreme Court pick, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Trump went to West Virginia three times in the last four months.
9:06 p.m. ET — Incumbent Republican Rep. Andy Barr is on track to win re-election in Kentucky’s 6th District, ABC News projects, based on exit polls. Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, was a key candidate for the party.
9:04 p.m. ET — Republican Marsha Blackburn is on track to win the senate seat in Tennessee, ABC News projects, based on exit polls. Blackburn will be the first female senator from the state. Trump went to Tennessee three times to rally for the congresswoman.
Blackburn will take over the seat from Republican Sen. Bob Corker, a sharp critic of the president who did not run for re-election.
9:00 p.m. ET — Polls are now closed in the closely watched states of Texas, North Dakota, Arizona, Michigan, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
8:48 p.m. ET — We've now seen the first GOP pick-up of the night in the Senate: Indiana.
Incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly is one of 10 Democratic incumbents up for re-election in states that Donald Trump won in 2016, and Indiana is a state Donald Trump campaigned heavily in during the 2018 midterms.
8:47 p.m. ET — Another state has extended voting. Alabama now joins the list that also includes Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas.
8:43 p.m. ET — In what will only make it a harder battle for Democrats' effort to retake the Senate, Republican Mike Braun is on track to defeat Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana's U.S. Senate race, ABC News projects, based on exit polling and analysis of voting data.
8:35 p.m. ET — ABC News can project, based on the vote, a few more gubernatorial races: in Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who is popular in Massachusetts despite the state's reputation for support of Democrats; in Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf; in Tennessee, Republican Bill Lee; and in Arkansas, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
8:32 p.m. ET — Democrat Gina Raimondo is on track to win re-election for governor in Rhode Island, ABC News projects, based on exit polls.
8:30 p.m. ET — The polls have closed in Arkansas. The next big wave comes at 9 p.m.
8:26 p.m. ET — NJ-SEN: Bob Menendez is on track to win re-election in New Jersey’s US Senate race, ABC News projects, based on exit polling and analysis of voting data.
8:22 p.m. ET — Health care is the top issue for voters, preliminary exit poll numbers show. 42 percent say health care is the top issue of four facing the country. Trump’s pushed immigration hard – but it’s the top issue to just 26 percent, far trailing health care. The economy comes in at 21 percent.
8:19 p.m. ET — Preliminary exit poll numbers show nonwhites account for 41 percent of Texas voters, including 24 percent Latinos. These are highs in Texas midterms in available exit polls back to 1984.
Texas Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 9 points in the 2016 presidential election and 12 points in the 2014 midterms. Today it’s a 5-point gap, 33-38 percent, Democrats-Republicans.
8:10 p.m. ET — Incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren is on track to win the race for senator in Massachusetts, ABC News projects, based on exit polls.
8:08 p.m. ET — Democrat Tim Kaine is on track to win Virginia's Senate race, ABC News projects, based on exit polls. Kaine is the incumbent. Kaine, who ran for vice president on the ticket with Hillary Clinton, ran against Republican challenger Corey A. Stewart
8:07 p.m. ET — Incumbent Bernie Sanders is on track to win in Vermont's Senate race, ABC News projects, based on exit polls.
8:00 p.m. ET Polls are now closed in roughly half the country including these notable states: the rest of Florida, most of Kansas, most of Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, the rest of New Hampshire, New Jersey, some counties in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. As noted, some states have extended polling hours.
7:53 p.m. ET — Democrat Jennifer Wexton wins Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, per ABC News projections. Wexton flipped the seat against Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock. Hillary Clinton carried the area by six points in 2016.
7:51 p.m. ET — Voting hours have been extended in some precincts in at least five states: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas. High-profile figures and candidates continue to tweet, asking voters to stay in line.
7:39 p.m. ET — Greg Pence, the older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, has been elected to Indiana’s 6th Congressional District, per ABC News projections.
The seat was represented by the vice president for more than 10 years before he became governor of the state. Pence is taking over the seat from Rep. Luke Messer, who sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate but lost the primary to Mike Braun.
7:35 p.m. ET — The polls are now closed in 9 states. At 7:30, polls closed in the closely watched states of Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina.
7:19 p.m. ET — Hillary Clinton and Democrat Andrew Gillum, who could become Florida's first African American governor, both tweeted to urge voters to stay in line because if they're still waiting after the polls close, they can still cast a ballot.
7:31 p.m. ET —
In Georgia, preliminary exit polls show turnout among nonwhites is a record 40 percent, including 30 percent black voters, in preliminary exit poll results. The previous high among nonwhites was 36 percent in 2014 – compared with just 18 percent in 1994.
If elected, Stacey Abrams, the Democrat running for governor in the state, would be the first-ever African American woman to serve as governor in the U.S.
7:17 p.m. ET — Sources tell ABC News the president and first lady are joined tonight by his three eldest children along with son-in-law Jared Kushner, Kimberly Guilfoyle and daughter-in-law Lara Trump.
The president’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, his first 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and deputy campaign manager Dave Bossie are there and also joining, longtime friends Tom Barrack and Richard LeFrak along with several mega donors close to the President.
The president's top White House advisors are also in attendance.
7:00 p.m. ET — Polls have closed in the first wave of closely watched states with competitive races: Indiana, Vermont, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky.
In Indiana, Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly faces Republican challenger Mike Braun in a tight senate race, while in Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams faces Republican Brian Kemp for the governor's seat.
5:59 p.m. ET — President Donald Trump and which party controls Congress are front and center for voters this election year, according to preliminary results from the national exit poll.
In results so far, 44 percent of voters approve of Trump’s job performance, while 55 percent disapprove.
And while the House races will be fought district by district, voters by 53-43 percent say they’d rather see the Democrats than the Republicans in control of the House after this election.
Read more here about why Trump has embraced the election as a referendum, and more here about the preliminary results from the national exit poll.
4:34 p.m. ET — Dozens of young Native Americans marched to their local polling place on a reservation near Belcourt, North Dakota.
The group of young men and women, members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, carried signs that read, "Don’t disenfranchise us," as they chanted in unison, "North Dakota, you can’t do that!"
By the time they reached the polls, more than a thousand people had already cast ballots hours before the polls were to close. In comparison, just 950 people voted at the same polling site in 2016, according to an election official there.
Tribal leaders have scrambled to print at least 3,500 new tribal IDs for Native Americans on reservations in North Dakota in response to the state’s new voter ID law, which requires North Dakotans to provide a state or tribal ID with a residential address in order to vote. Many Native Americans living in rural communities on or near reservations don’t have residential addresses.
4:21 p.m. ET — The issues with electronic poll books in Indiana's Johnson County have been "resolved," election officials said.
The midsize county, which is located south of Indianapolis, will not be extending voting hours but officials will add more voting machines if need be, according to Johnson County election board chairman Phil Barrow.
Election Systems & Software, the electronic voting vendor the county employs, also confirmed in a statement that the issues were fixed.
"The issue in Johnson County, Indiana has been resolved, resulting in faster check-in times for voters," the company said in a statement Tuesday. "Earlier in the day, the poll book, which is used to check in voters but is not related to voting machines themselves, was running slowly. The poll book operation is now significantly improved. We apologize to voters and to elections officials in Johnson County, Indiana for longer wait times than expected, and we thank everyone for their patience."
Johnson County is in a congressional district considered safe for Republicans, but the Senate race in Indiana is considered competitive, with Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly trying to beat back a challenge by Republican Mike Braun.
3:41 p.m. ET — A 104-year-old woman cast her vote Tuesday.
Margaret Norwood was alive at the time when women did not have the right to vote, according to a tweet from Muriel Bowser, who is running for re-election as mayor of Washington, D.C.
3:19 p.m. ET — Multiple high-ranking sources in the White House and outside advisers close to President Trump say they are bracing for an interesting evening – all the sources believe it is most likely the House will be in the hands of Democrats after tonight’s results.
One source said the reality is if there is good news tonight for Republicans, the president will take all the credit; however, he already knows he will get blamed if it’s not a great night.
2:52 p.m. ET — Electronic poll books were malfunctioning temporarily on Election Day in Johnson County, a midsize Indiana county south of Indianapolis.
The poll books which are used to check in voters were running slowly during part of the afternoon because of overpopulated servers, the county clerk said.
Johnson County is in a congressional district considered safe for Republicans, with incumbent GOP Rep. Trey Hollingsworth expected to hold his seat against Democrat Liz Watson.
But the Senate race in Indiana is considered competitive, with Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly trying to beat back a challenge by Republican Mike Braun.
2:27 p.m. ET — Outgoing Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who did not run for re-election, predicted a Democrat would win his seat.
"Quite frankly, we know the results already," Issa told Fox News in an interview. "It will be a Democrat representing La Jolla to Solana Beach for the first time in a number of years."
Democrat Mike Levin and Republican Diane Harkey are vying to replace Issa, who has held the seat for eight terms.
1:56 p.m. ET — Los Angeles voters waiting in line at one polling station at least got serenaded by a mariachi band.
1:49 p.m. ET — Federal authorities aren't seeing anything out of the ordinary on election a Department of Homeland Security official said.
There has been a typical scanning and probing of some election systems, but authorities haven't seen an "uptick" in cyberactivity, the official told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
1:20 p.m. ET –- Two high school seniors were excited to cast their ballots for the first time Tuesday in Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp are running in a close race for the state's highest office.
Grace and Claire, both 18, of Decatur, said they spent a lot of time researching candidates before deciding who to vote for.
"It was hard to find an unbiased source, but we did as much research as we could," Claire told ABC News. "It feels good to finally have my opinion out there."
"I’m very excited that I got to vote this year," Grace told ABC News. "It’s a right that I’m very proud of."
Georgia set a record for early voting this year, with 2,079,351 people in the state who cast their ballots before polls opened Tuesday, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's office.
1:00 p.m. ET — Polls are now open across all states, including Hawaii.
12:27 p.m. ET — Some Arizona voters will be treated to a cute, cuddly surprise at the polls.
The Arizona Humane Society is bringing puppies to some polling sites around the Phoenix area to help lower blood pressure among voters and ease the strain of waiting in long lines.
"It’s funny, you see people see the puppies, and they just melt," Bretta Nelson of the Arizona Humane Society told ABC News in Phoenix, adding that it's also a "unique way to get our puppies adopted.
11:59 a.m. ET — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is confident Democrats will win control of that chamber of Congress in Tuesday's election.
When asked at a press conference if she is 100 percent certain her party will become the majority in the House of Representatives, the California Democrat said, "Yes, I am."
11:32 a.m. ET — Trump retweeted a tweet he had initially posted Monday morning that warned about "illegal voting."
The tweet reads, "Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election (or Early Voting). Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you!"
10:49 a.m. ET — Humid weather is reportedly causing problems in some election precincts in North Carolina.
North Carolina's state elections office said it has received reports that ballots in some precincts in Wake County and other areas cannot be fed through tabulators. But officials said "procedures are in place for these types of events."
"Initial reports from county elections offices indicate this issue is caused by high humidity levels. When ballots cannot be ready by tabulators, they are stored securely in 'emergency bins' and will be tabulated as soon as possible," the board said in a statement Tuesday morning. "All ballots will be counted."
10:20 a.m. ET — Democrats in Florida voted prior to Election Day in slightly higher numbers than the state's Republicans.
More than 5.2 million Floridians in total cast ballots either by mail or early voting. Of that number, 2,110,782 were Democrats and 2,088,429 Republicans, according to newly-released data from the Florida Division of Elections.
10:03 a.m. ET — Newspapers across the U.S. splashed headlines conveying some of the emotion and tension around this election.
Here are a few of them.
– The Columbus Dispatch: "It's up to you now"
– Connecticut Post: "Midterm mania grips nation"
– Chicago Tribune: "A fight for control"
– The Des Moines Register: "IT'S DECISION DAY"
– The Detroit News: "Battle for Congress spirited until the end"
– Houston Chronicle: "DAY OF RECKONING IS HERE"
– Los Angeles Times: "Trump's reputation is on the line"
– New York Daily News: "YOUR CALL, AMERICA
– The Oregonian: "Ready or not, it's finally Election day"
– Orlando Sentinel: "FIERCE RACES AWAIT DECISIONS"
– The Washington Post: "Uncertainty rules as the midterms reach the wire"
9:46 a.m. ET — Mark Salter, longtime aide and speechwriter for the late Sen. John McCain, a Republican, urged his Twitter followers to "vote for the Democrat (in most cases).
"That feels weird to write," Salter tweeted. "But the bigger the rebuke of Trump the better for the country. Resist."
McCain was one of Trump's most outspoken Republican critics. The Arizona senator died in August at age 85 after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.
9:17 a.m. ET — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, made a final appeal to voters.
"For the past two years, we've watched this administration attack and undermine our democratic institutions and values. Today, we say enough," Clinton wrote in a series of tweets.
"But we won't just vote against radicalism, bigotry, and corruption today. We'll vote for fantastic candidates all over the country—including a historic number of women—who want to raise wages, fight for justice, and help more people get health care," she tweeted.
"If they win, they’ll do great things for America. Let's exercise our birthright as Americans today, put those people in office, and continue the hard work of saving our democracy. It'll take all of us. Happy Election Day."
7:43 a.m. ET — Authorities in some states are warning voters to be vigilant about possible election problems.
The New Jersey Department of State urged residents via Twitter to beware of "false information regarding your polling locations."
High enthusiasm evident in early voting
The conversation ahead of the midterms has been dominated by talk of Democratic enthusiasm that could bring a "blue wave."
Democrats appear more poised for victory in the House, where they need a net gain of 23 seats to win the majority. In the Senate, Democrats would need a net pickup of two seats to take control, but there are 10 vulnerable Democratic senators running in states Trump won in 2016.
Early voting has also been read as a signal that enthusiasm is up — though in some states, it's a result of newly-expanded early voting opportunities. According to data from Michael McDonald, an early-voting expert at the University of Florida, 2018 early voting has already significantly surpassed 2014 figures.
As of Friday, over 30 million early ballots were cast, compared to 17 million as of the same day in 2014.
According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the top issues driving voters this year are health care and the economy, which are almost tied in importance, followed by immigration. Democrats have made health care — and especially coverage for people with pre-existing conditions — a key part of their platform, while Trump has significantly upped his rhetoric on immigration, using a migrant caravan that's weeks away from the U.S. border to bring the topic to the forefront.
A diverse set of candidates
Despite ingrained partisan positions on these issues, the candidates running for election across the country this year are diverse, and many are poised to make history.
If elected, Democrat Stacey Abrams, running for governor in Georgia, will be the first African-American woman governor in U.S. history. Three other states south of the Mason-Dixon line could also elect their first-ever African-American governors.
It could be a historic year for Native American women as well. In the House, Sharice Davids of Kansas and Debra Haaland of New Mexico, both Democrats, could become the first Native American congresswomen. And, Paulette Jordan, a Democrat running for governor of Idaho, could become the country's first Native American governor, as well as her state's first female governor — and its first Democratic governor since 1999.
There are also two female Muslim congressional candidates, Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, who are poised to make history as well.
And Vermont is poised to make history for the LGBTQ community if voters in the Green Mountain State oust their current governor in favor of first-time candidate Christine Hallquist, who would be the first transgender governor in the nation if elected on Tuesday.
In some states, both candidates on the ticket offer diverse and historic choices.
In New Hampshire, Eddie Edwards, a Republican, would be the state’s first African-American member of Congress. His opponent, Democrat Chris Pappas, would be its first openly gay member of Congress.
And while many individual candidates could be historic change-makers, taken together, there are also some record-breaking numbers.
More women, for example, are running for Congress than ever seen before.
In the House currently, 84 of the 435 members are women, while a staggering 239 women are on the ballot Tuesday. They range from former fighter pilots to intelligence officers, doctors, nurses and scientists. By a 3-to-1 margin, the women candidates are Democrats.
Veterans are also on the ballot in record numbers. According to a nonpartisan veterans' super PAC, over 200 military veterans are running for Congress — a stark number considering there are fewer veterans in Congress today, at 20 percent, than ever before.
Polls in competitive races begin to close at 7 p.m. EDT and continue through 1 a.m. EDT.
After months of fundraising, advertising, door knocking and block walking, the candidates have made themselves known.
Now it's up to the voters.
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