The first polls have been closing across the USA in one of the most closely watched midterm congressional elections in living memory, which are likely to be seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump's administration. The victory by the staunchly pro-labor Brown, which was expected, underscored that Trump's 2016 dominance of that and other Midwestern states was not a lock. It would prove even more hard for the White House to push critical legislation through Congress if the Democrats manage to win the House and the Senate.
To stem Republican losses, Trump sprinted through mostly white regions of the country, interjecting dark and foreboding warnings about what Democratic power would mean for the nation.
In addition to the suburban Wake districts, Mecklenburg County Democrat Rachel Hunt is 71 votes ahead of state Rep. Bill Brawley with one precinct left to report. They are also a win for Kentucky Sen.
Hillary Clinton urged her 23.6 million followers on Twitter to get out and vote. Any effort to impeach Trump would run smack into a trial in a friendly Senate. Even though two seats are needed, if the Democrats are looking to impeach the president they will still need the support of the Republicans in the upper house.
Many Democrats, already benefiting from anti-Trump enthusiasm, focused on bread-and-butter issues like maintaining health insurance protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and safeguarding the Social Security retirement and Medicare healthcare programs for the elderly. "And so this really was my opportunity to help this country in changing who is making the decisions".
Voters cast ballots today in the first major voter test of Trump's controversial presidency, with control of Congress at stake.
The party also continues to oppose the president's withdrawal from a 2015 global nuclear deal with Iran, and may use control of the House as a vehicle to undermine or probe his policy of "maximum pressure" on the Islamic republic.
"The big picture is that midterm elections go against the president's party", said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.
Meanwhile, two of the most-watched races - for governor and senator in Florida - appeared headed for the kind of nail-biting close finish for which the state is famous.
Also likely taking the stage during this hour: Mitt Romney, who is expected to easily win a US Senate seat from Utah.
The tax law has been particularly problematic for Republicans in New Jersey, where four of five GOP-held seats were being seriously contested.
North Dakota has joined MI in deciding whether to legalize marijuana, something already done in nine states plus the District of Columbia - but no place yet in the Midwest. The race is now considered a "Toss Up" as the three-term Republican continues to be out raised by Democrat George Scott. Though they also need to hold all their current seats, including some in states where Trump did well in 2016.
"I believe he values immigration, but he wants to make sure we're safe", said Tina Newby of Wetland, Michigan, a GOP voter. I mean, I only became a citizen previous year", said Kevin Ombija, a first-time voter originally from Kenya who now lives in Washington, D.C. "Issues of immigrants are very dear to me. No longer would Republicans be able to overturn Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes without winning over at least some Democratic support. His name is Dean Heller and his Democratic challenger is Jacky Rosen. Liberal House member Beto O'Rourke became a national sensation with his underdog US Senate campaign but fell short in conservative Texas, and Andrew Gillum was trailing Republican Ron DeSantis in his quest to become the first African-American governor of the key swing state of Florida. Ted Cruz in Texas.
Also victorious was Republican Mitt Romney, the vanquished 2012 GOP presidential candidate who grabbed the Utah seat being vacated by the retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Tennessee's Bob Corker, both leaving Congress after accusing Trump of dishonesty and questioning his competence. Republicans who dominate the state would probably prevail, but waiting for the outcome could extend the uncertainty about the Senate's party breakdown - and perhaps which side has control.