In Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio, precincts started to report results with no clear lead yet for candidates in competitive House races.
In other races that have been called at this point, the top two GOP House leaders were re-elected. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) won an easy victory in his suburban Richmond district while Speaker John Boehner (R) was uncontested on the ballot in Ohio. The GOP is expected to easily hold its House majority tonight.
6:51 p.m. | It’s the start of what could be a very long night for House Democrats.
Over the next hour, polls close in nine states, including several with targeted House races: Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia.
Out of that crop of states, operatives are closely watching the competitive re-election races of Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), plus the Member-vs.-Member matchup between Reps. Betty Sutton (D) and Jim Renacci (R) in Ohio.
Pre-election surveys shows the partisan makeup of that chamber is not expected to change drastically in the next Congress. But House Democrats have lowered expectations for Election Day gains in recent weeks.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee insisted for most of the cycle that the party could win the 25 seats necessary to gain the Speaker’s gavel. But last weekend, Democratic operatives privately conceded that the party might not pick up any seats — or only a handful.
The party’s best prospects to pick up seats are in Western states, such as Arizona and California, where polls will not close until 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST, respectively.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.