2018 primary election: Check back for results from statewide and local races

Troy Balderson Danny O'Connor

Voters in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan and Washington state joined those in OH in Tuesday's voting.

National Democrats have turned their attention to the district since Arrington, a first-term member of the S.C. House, upset U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in June's Republican primary.

Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

Balderson led over O'Connor by 50.1 percent to 49.3 percent, a 1,766-vote lead, with all precincts reporting.

The 12th district, split between suburban Columbus, Ohio, and rural areas, has been represented by a Republican since the early 1980s.

If Balderson's lead holds, his narrow victory in a seat President Donald Trump carried by an 11-point margin in 2016 would still a bad sign for the GOP, which will have to defend far more competitive seats than this one in the November midterms.

Cory Bliss, executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican-aligned SuperPAC, said: "While we won tonight, this remains a very tough political environment and moving forward, we can not expect to win tough races when our candidate is being outraised".

Ohio's Republican Gov. John Kasich said the race shouldn't even be close, but it is. Republicans now hold a two-seat majority in the Senate, while Democrats need to net 23 seats to take control of the House. Kobach was an immigration adviser to Trump's campaign in 2016 and vice chairman of Trump's commission to investigate voting fraud before the panel collapsed. The race is a test of voter sentiment before the general election in November, when Balderson and O'Connor will battle again for the full two-year term.

On stage with Trump, Balderson called himself "someone who will fight for President Trump's economic agenda".

CNN chief national correspondent and anchor John King on Tuesday noted that a Democratic win in Tuesday's special election in a heavily-red district in OH could signal a blue wave in the fall that would likely put impeachment "on the table".

Trump endorsed Kobach, Kansas' secretary of state, on Monday.

Trump made his preference clear for Kobach.

Democrats, meanwhile, have been attacking Balderson by casting his support of tax cuts as threats to Social Security and Medicare. "Strong on Crime, Border & Military", the president tweeted on the eve of the election.

The five-way Democratic primary featured labour lawyer Brent Welder, who campaigned recently with self-described democratic socialists Vermont Sen.

After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stunning victory in NY against Rep. Joe Crowley, progressives hope to demonstrate that their policies can win over voters in the middle of the country.

The pro-Balderson effort has focused largely on motivating Republican voters by casting O'Connor as extreme.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is expected to take on McCaskill, and in MI, military veteran and business executive John James is vying for the chance to knock off Stabenow.

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