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2018 Midterm Results, Exit Polls and Maps: When Will We Know Today’s Election Outcomes?
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2018 Midterm Results, Exit Polls and Maps: When Will We Know Today’s Election Outcomes?

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WASHINGTON, DC – November 6, 2018

Election day is finally here, viewed by many as a referendum on Trump’s presidency that will affect how he governs for the next two years. Here is what to expect as polls close today.  

Many think this is the most important election in recent times. Much is riding on the Republicans maintaining control of Congress. If the Democrats win the House, all current investigations into the Deep State will cease, replaced by every single Congressional committee opening an investigation into Trump and his administration. The stakes are high.

Will President Trump prove to be the ultimate factor in voters’ election day decisions? Roughly 3 out of 4 likely voters said they saw their vote this fall as an opportunity to express a view of Trump.

Americans will vote for members of both chambers of Congress, as well as for governors in 36 out of 50 states.

Republicans currently control the House of Representatives and the Senate – the two chambers of Congress. But pundits are suggesting the Democrats might take control.

A huge number of seats are being contested — 435 in the House, 35 in the Senate, and governorships across the US and other local and mayoral ballots.

And because the US has six different time zones, polls in different states will be closing at different times.

Voters will take to the polls across the 50 states from 1  pm GMT today, with polls closing from midnight GMT onwards. Below are the last polling times for each state.

  • 19:00 EST (midnight GMT): Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
  • 19:30 EST (00:30 GMT): North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia
  • 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT): Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee
  • 20:30 EST (01:30 GMT): Arkansas
  • 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT): Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • 22:00 EST (03:00 GMT): Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Utah
  • 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT): California, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington
  • 01:00 EST (06:00 GMT): Alaska

The votes will start to be counted as soon as the each polling station closes, which means results will trickle in over the early hours of the morning. There is a strict embargo on any news coming from the early waves of exit poll data until 5 pm eastern time (10pm GMT). As states close their polls, broadcasters will analyze their exit polls before projecting winners.

These projections may change throughout the night as results come in.

The number of seats each state receives depends on its population size. California, the most populous state, has 53 representatives while 7 states — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming have just 1.

The Republican Party currently controls the chamber with a 43-seat majority, but it is widely expected that the Democrats will gain control in the upcoming election. The current House has 236 Republicans and 193 Democrats, with 6 vacant seats. 

The Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to win a majority, which is no small feat, but the president’s low approval ratings have given the party reason to hope. 

As for the Senate, there are 100 Senators, two from each state, and Republicans currently hold a razor thin majority with 51 seats.

The Senate writes and passes laws but also has a number of other powers and responsibilities, from ratifying treaties with other countries to overseeing investigations of officials and public bodies.

Senators have six-year terms and just 35 seats are up for re-election. Most of these are currently held by Democrats, making it hard for them to make gains.  So, let’s start.

West Virginia

Donald Trump won West Virginia’s 3rd district by 30 points. But it is the Democratic candidate running in the district, which has a long history of coal mining, that is gaining national attention. Richard Ojeda says he voted for Donald Trump in 2016, opposes universal background checks for gun buyers, and is pro-coal. Ojeda and his campaign have been working around the clock to ensure that happens. Wearing army boots and speaking in an intense voice with a West Virginia twang, Ojeda knocked on doors and made his case in every county of the district.

Mr. Ojeda is running against Republican Carol Miller in the open-seat race after the incumbent Republican Evan Jenkins vacated the seat to run for the Senate. 

His race against Republican Carol Miller is considered one of the most competitive in the country. Polling suggests it will be a tight race between the two candidates, but analysts are keeping a close watch to see if a populist Democrat in a pro-Trump area is a winning formula.

Polls for West Virginia close at 19:30 EST (00:30 GMT).

California

Republican Representative Mimi Walters is battling to keep hold of her seat against Democrat Katie Porter in the state’s 45th district, Orange County. The number of registered Republicans in the county has consistently declined as its population becomes more diverse.

Polls for California close at 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT).

Minnesota

Minnesota’s 8th district is considered one of the Democrats’ most at-risk seats. It is a traditionally Democrat area—former president Barack Obama won the district twice but it swung heavily to Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

The seat is currently held by Democrat Rick Nolan, but the 74-year-old is not seeking re-election. The party’s candidate Joe Radinovich, a former state legislator, is facing a tough battle against Republican Pete Stauber, a county commissioner.

Polls for Minnesota close at 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT).

Texas

The race in Texas’ 23rd district will largely focus on one of the Trump administration’s main concerns—immigration. The district contains a third of the US-Mexico border and has the second highest population of ‘Dreamers’— the term given to undocumented migrants who arrived in America as children and have been granted temporary protection.

The incumbent, Republican Will Hurd, is a former CIA agent who has chosen to distance himself from Mr. Trump. His Democratic rival, Gina Ortiz Jones, is a Filipino-American, openly LGBTQ, and an Iraq veteran. 

Mr. Hurd, who became the first African-American elected to Congress from Texas when he was elected in 2015, is tipped to win by a narrow margin in the swing district. 

He has distanced himself from the national Republican Party and even wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in July stating that the president had been manipulated by Russian intelligence.

As for the Senate, despite being a presidential candidate in 2016, Republican Senator Ted Cruz is now fighting for his political life in Texas. His Democratic challenger—Beto O’Rourke—has brought Mr. Cruz’s lead in the deeply red state down to single digits, shocking political pundits.

Trump has overcome his previous animosity with the Senator to lend his support to his campaign. Donald Jr. has already been deployed to campaign for Mr. Cruz and the president himself may make an appearance in a bid to bolster support.

Mr. O’Rourke, a 45-year-old congressman, has campaigned on a platform of inclusion and optimism, particularly on issues such as immigration. It is a message that chimes with the state’s growing Hispanic population, which currently stands at 39%.

Pollsters still predict a Cruz victory but Mr. O’Rourke’s popularity and upbeat campaign rallies have left Republican operatives deeply troubled.

Polls for Texas close at 21:00 EST (02:00 GMT).

Florida

Moderate Republicans will be looking to Florida’s 26th district to see whether they can keep hold of a largely Hispanic area in the Trump era.

The incumbent, Carlos Curbelo, is well-liked but Republicans still fear his Democrat opponent, Latin immigrant Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, could sweep to a surprise victory. Hillary Clinton won the district by 16 points in 2016.

The Senate race between Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger Rick Scott is one of the most expensive of the year. Mr. Scott, Florida’s governor, has challenged Mr. Nelson’s record in Washington and distanced himself from the president so as not to lose out on Puerto Rican voters.

Republicans see the seat as one of their most promising chances of picking up an extra Senate seat and have spent heavily in the race. Polls show the two almost neck and neck—an interesting race to tune into on election night.

Polls for Florida close at 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

Nevada

Senator Dean Heller’s election fight is an interesting one to watch. He is the only Republican senator up for re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. 

Senator Heller’s Democratic opponent, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, also has support from anti-Trump female voters. She is also hoping Nevada’s growing Hispanic population will help her to victory in November.

However, she faces an uphill battle in encouraging voter turnout, and Republicans are relying on white rural voters to come out to support Mr. Heller.

Polls for Nevada close at 22:00 EST (03:00 GMT).

North Dakota

Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is facing re-election in a state Trump won by nearly 40 points in 2016, is considered the most endangered Democrat in the Senate.

Ms. Heitkamp voted against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, which is sure to bring her some losses among conservatives. However she has touted her previous support for Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, last year.

Her opponent, Kevin Crammer, also has the backing of the president. Mr. Trump headlined a fundraiser for the Republican in early September which brought in more than $1 million in donations to his campaign.

Polls for North Dakota close at 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT).

Author: USA Really