Key US midterm races to watch - and when to watch them

Border Protection agents take part in a training exercise at the U.S.-Mexico border Nov. 5 2018 in Hidalgo Texas

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Democratic incumbents were re-elected Tuesday in states from MA to OH as Republicans fought to retain Senate control, hoping that President Donald Trump's nationalistic appeals to hard-right voters would let them continue their role as protectors of his conservative agenda.

Most of the races that will decide the balance of power in Congress and shape the future of Donald Trump's presidency were still too close to call as polls closed in more than half of the 50 USA states.

Despite the mixed result for the GOP, Trump called the election a "tremendous success" on Twitter.

But Democrats are on course to win the House of Representatives, which would deal a blow to the president's agenda.

Initial vote counts were too tight to call a pivotal race in IN, where Republicans hoped to oust moderate Sen.

Blackburn, a conservative who is also an ardent Trump backer, defeated former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, 74.

At the Player's Retreat, Adamson, Evans and Ford had gathered with fans and other candidates, cheering when other Democrats pulled ahead in a race. Republican incumbent Andy Barr fended off a strong challenged from Democrat Amy McGrath, a Naval Academy graduate and the first female U.S. Marine to pilot an F/A-18 Hornet in combat, in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District. Democrat Andrew Gillum is hoping to become the state's first African American governor.

Trump spent the evening watching returns in the White House with family and friends.

Trump, whose approval ratings are mired in the low 40s, has vowed to his supporters at every rally they will "win, win, win".

The Democrats' path to the Senate was increasingly narrow, however. The requests cover a range of issues, from the rollout of the Muslim travel ban, to documents detailing the response to Hurricane Maria, the administration's refusal to defend the Affordable Health Care Act in court, and administration use of chartered flights.

Trump has cast the midterm elections as a referendum on himself.

Donald Trump is a factor for 65 percent of American voters - and of those, 39 percent said they oppose him versus only 26 percent in support.

"This is only just the beginning", said Schriock, president of Emily's List. "The president has energized a staggering number of Americans at packed arenas and in overflow crowds at rallies across the country". Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings. He was active on Twitter throughout much of the day, blasting out endorsements for Republican candidates and weighing in on the balloting.

A full picture of the voting results will not emerge for hours, with numerous most important races considered toss-ups heading into Election Day.

Democrats are favored by election forecasters to pick up the minimum of 23 House seats they need for a majority.

At the moment, the the Republicans have a hold of 236 seats in the House, while the Democrats have 193, with six vacant seats. "Although the exact size of the Democratic majority is not yet clear, Democrats will soon have to decide whether to restore Nancy Pelosi to her old job as Speaker of the House", adds the forecast.

"We need to go out and get our women engaged", said Sarah Chamberlain, president and CEO of Republican Main Street Partnership.

He was due to be joined by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson, Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman and the President's ex-campaign aides, David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski, a source familiar with the guest list said. "Americans, by and large, like the idea of checks and balances under our constitution and our system, and with Republican House, Senate and White House, this is a feeling that this has gone out of whack".

Democrats themselves sought to root their campaigns in more bread-and-butter issues, such as health-care and what they portrayed as Republican assaults on the popular aspects of Obamacare.

Cummings said he wants Democrats to make sure that the 2020 census, conducted by the Commerce Department, is not being manipulated for political reasons.

Trump's approval rating was negative among the nation's voters, and more said the United States was on the wrong track than heading in the right direction. The survey is separate from the traditional exit polls for the television networks.

Initial results in Wake County look good for Democrats, though Wake County is just now reporting election day results, precinct by precinct.

This story will be updated as more election results come in.

With the walking caravan weeks away, Trump dispatched more than 5,000 troops to the region.

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