Voters around the country headed to the polls Tuesday for crucial midterm elections that will determine control of Congress for the remainder of President Trump’s first term and measure the public’s tolerance for his chaotic and divisive approach to governing.
After a whirlwind final day of campaigning, the parties prepared to scrutinize turnout and other indicators in key races that could cement a new Democratic majority in the House and shape the balance of power in the Senate, where Republicans were cautiously optimistic about maintaining control.
The first national elections since Trump’s presidential upset in 2016 presented an opportunity for Democrats to capitalize on his low approval ratings, a restive national mood and frustration with one-party leadership in Washington under the GOP. But despite signs that some races were moving in Democrats’ favor, at least marginally, in the campaign’s closing days, both sides were wary about predicting what might happen.
At stake on Tuesday was control of the House and Senate, 36 governorships and hundreds of down-ballot races nationwide. To take control of Congress, Democrats would need a net gain of 23 seats in the House and two seats in the Senate, the latter posing a challenge in light of the 26 Senate seats that Democrats are defending this cycle.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. Eastern time in roughly two dozen states and the District of Columbia. The states included Virginia and New York, where strategists said several close House races could serve as bellwethers for the rest of the country.
This story will be updated.