Polls close in OH as elections in 5 states wrap up

Crystal ball time Where are we headed politically

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Voters around the state of Kansas showed up at the polls Tuesday to decide competitive primary races and set the stage for the November general election.

One of the primary season's true sideshows ended with a lopsided win - Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.), who won a 2017 special election in Kansas's 4th Congressional District, has defeated Ron M. Estes, who did not.

OH polls closed at 7:30 p.m., but the counting could take hours more. Check back for updates throughout the evening as votes are counted.

The Republican Party has held the OH 12th District seat for more than three decades, so the very fact that it's so close is significant.

President Donald Trump endorsed and campaigned for Balderson in a race over the weekend in a race that is essentially tied, according to most recent polling.

Tuesday's elections could provide a window into the direction of the Democratic Party as the 2020 presidential nominating contest gets underway and party leaders debate whether to embrace a more liberal platform in hopes of turning out voters who sat out the 2016 election or make a centrist turn to court moderates and Republicans who are alienated by Trump.

Ohio's 12th Congressional District, in the suburbs of Columbus, has had a Republican representative for 35 years, and has been largely in GOP hands since 1920.

A number of races on both sides have several candidates from which to choose, including five persons running for Kansas governor on the Democratic side and seven persons running on the Republican side.

Democrat Danny O'Connor, the Franklin County recorder, speaks to the media alongside his fiancee Spenser Stafford, after Stafford voted at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Dublin, Ohio. Though Trump came in to campaign with Balderson on Saturday, the rural parts of the district didn't turn out in near the numbers as the suburban areas.

Meanwhile, more than 700 miles to the west, Kansas Republicans were fighting among themselves in the battle for governor, where Secretary of State Kris Kobach was trying to unseat Gov. Jeff Colyer.

O'Connor and his Democratic allies have railed against the tax plan, casting it as a giveaway for the rich that exacerbates federal deficits and threatens Medicare and Social Security. He submitted petitions Monday with more than 10,000 signatures for what could become the most serious independent run for Kansas governor in decades.

Trump made his preference clear for Kobach.

O'Connor has dominated Balderson on the local airwaves.

"He is a fantastic guy who loves his State and our Country - he will be a GREAT Governor and has my full & total Endorsement!" Bernie Sanders 2016 alums to his campaign. He'd join Sen. Tim Scott as the only black Republican senators if he did.

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