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The candidates who emerge victorious from a fierce faceoff Tuesday night in tough and pricey primary battles in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia will provide critical clues into which party might eventually gain control of the U.S. House and Senate in November.
In the closely watched West Virginia GOP Senate primary, establishment Republicans are hoping to stop the momentum of former coal baron,, in a race that has been filled with sharp-tongued barbs, questionable comments about ethnicity, and from President Trump and his son, Jr., among others.
Over in the Indiana Senate primary, Republicans are fighting over who is the Trumpiest of Trump supporters in a race that has featured cardboard cutouts of opponents and a lovefest via Twitter of all things Trump.
In Ohio’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, candidates are leaning left in the hopes of wooing progressives.
10:46 p.m. – DSCC weighs in on Morrisey’s win in the West Virginia Senate GOP primary
“Patrick Morrisey emerges tonight badly bruised from a bizarre primary contest that focused on personal political attacks instead of West Virginians,” Democratic Senate Congressional Committee spokesman David Bergstein said in a statement.
Bergstein emphasized Morrisey’s past as a lobbyist that took in hundreds of thousands of dollars while representing special interests in the healthcare industry and urged voters to hold him accountable.
10:55 p.m. – Incumbent loses GOP primary in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District
AP called the GOP primary in North Carolina’s 9th District for local pastor Mark Harris. As of Tuesday night, Rep. Robert Pittenger is trailing challenger Harris by just under 1,000 votes.
Pittenger only beat Harris in the 2016 primary race by 134 votes.
10:22 pm – AP calls the West Virginia GOP Senate primary for State Attorney General Morrisey
The Associated Press has called the West Virginia GOP Senate primary for State Attorney General Morrisey.
10:10 pm – Former coal baron-turned politico Don Blankenship concedes
Don Blankenship, the former coal baron-turned-politico conceded in the closely watched West Virginia GOP Senate primary.
Some in GOP leadership cheered the loss including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in an apparent tongue-in-cheek reference to the Netflix show “Narcos”, which features drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Thanks for playing,.
— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch)
During the contentious primary, Blankenship repeatedly referred to McConnell as “Cocaine Mitch”, an insult and allusion to allegations that a shipping company run by the father of McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, transported drugs.
“My father-in-law is an American, who lives in New York, works in New York. And I don’t have any comment aboutlike that,” McConnell told Fox News.
On Twitter, the show “Narcos” later hit back at McConnell’s reference.
9:45 pm – FiveThirtyEight, an ABC News partner, on North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District race
The AP has called the GOP primary in the North Carolina 3rd District for Rep. Walter Jones.
(He’s the incumbent, as well as the anti-establishment candidate.)
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight)
9:34 pm – ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight highlights Ohio’s amendment to make the state’s redistricting process less partisan
Ohio’s Issue 1, an amendment to make the state’s redistricting process less partisan, has cruised to victory.
(Based on the few data points we have, it looks like Americans don’t like gerrymandering.)
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight)
9:02 p.m. – AP calls Ohio Senate GOP primary for Rep. Jim Renacci.
Winning most areas of the state, Rep. Jim Renacci has a lead over his rivals in the Ohio Senate GOP primary, according to the Associated Press. Renacci was endorsed by President Trump in his bid to try and unseat incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.
9:00 p.m. – Don Blankenship takes the stage to say “it doesn’t look good”
Before the results were in, Don Blankenship got up in front of the crowd at his West Virginia headquarters on election night to say he didn’t think the night was going to go how he planned. It was mostly close friends in the crowd, he said, and he wanted to be honest with them.
“Don’t be dismayed, I did everything I could do,” he said on stage.
But afterward, in an interview with ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks, Rick Klein and Tom Llamas he was adamant that he was “nowhere near” conceding.
“I don’t think it’s impossible to have a comeback but the numbers are not where I’d hoped they would be at this point in time,” Blankenship said.
“They have to do their own thing and however it turns out that’s what democracy’s all about,” Blankenship said of the West Virginia voters.
West Virginia voter who says he lost three cousins in mine disaster tied to Don Blankenship tellshe’s voting for the coal baron anyway.
“I want an honest crook, and that’s Blankenship.”
— ABC News (@ABC)
8:49 p.m. – AP projects Mike Braun’s win for Senate GOP nomination in Indiana
AP calls the Indiana Senate GOP primary for Mike Braun.
A self-proclaimed “outsider,” millionaire businessman Braun managed to lead the GOP primary with an aggressive campaign funded almost entirely by almost $6 million of his own money.
“Congratulations to Mike Braun on his win in tonight’s primary,” National Republican Senate Committee executive director Chris Hansen said in a statement. “Mike’s success in creating jobs for Hoosiers as a business owner is a stark contrast to Joe Donnelly’s history of shipping jobs to Mexico, and his record will ensure his success in the general election.”
According to ABC News’ Alisa Wiersema, on the loss, an official from opponent Rep. Luke Messer’s campaign said this: “The man who has the most gold typically wins.”
An official from Rep. Rokita’s campaign agreed.
8:48 p.m. – AP projection: Incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin wins Democratic Senate primary in West Virginia
Manchin was facing a primary challenge from Democratic activist Paula Swearengin.
8:38 p.m. – AP projection: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wins state’s Republican primary
AP called the Republican primary for Ohio governor in favor of DeWine. DeWine and Republican Gov. John Kasich’s Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor have been battling it out in the Republican primary and largely distanced themselves from Kasich and his policies.
Voters can now look forward to a DeWine-Cordray match-up for Kasich’s seat.
8:31 p.m. – AP calls Democratic primary for Ohio governor’s race for Richard Cordray
The former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Democrat Richard Cordray is the projected winner for the Democratic primary for Ohio governor, according to the Associated Press.
What happened in the Democratic primary for the Ohio governor’s race?
Well, Cordray won with a commanding lead against former presidential candidate and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is losing big in every region of the state, including the Democratic stronghold (and his home region) of Cleveland, according to ABC News’ John Verhovek reports.
The Ohio Democratic Party later congratulated Cordray’s nomination.
“The Cordray-Sutton message that focused on ‘kitchen-table’ issues clearly resounded with voters who want a governor who will fix Columbus, stand up for every Ohioan to get a fair shake and fight for our future,” David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party said in a statement.
More on Cordray.
8:18 p.m. – From Pence to Pence: A brotherly congratulations
The vice president congratulated his older brother over Twitter just after 8 p.m. on Greg Pence’s projected win in Indiana’s 6th Congressional District, which the younger Pence formerly held before serving as governor of Indiana (and then veep). Greg Pence has never run for office.
Congratulations to my brotheron his big primary win tonight in ! He’s making Hoosiers & the Pence family proud. Good luck in November!
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence)
8:17 p.m. Blankenship weighs in live
ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks and Tom Llamas caught up with Don Blankenship at his campaign headquarters in West Virginia. He told them that if elected, he’ll vote against Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
“Probably can raise more money when you’re against Mitch McConnell than when you’re for him,” he said. The full interview is below.
7:30 p.m. – The polls are closed in each of tonight’s primary races.
The polls are closed in West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio — the three states that held Senate primaries tonight and will send the Republican winners to face-off against Democratic incumbents — an effort the GOP hopes will give them more of a hold in the Senate. Ohio also held a closely watched gubernatorial primary.
The polls are also closed in North Carolina, where voters cast their ballots in primaries across the state for seats in the House.
Check out our coverage of the Senate primaries in, and for live updates on each individual race — and here, where we’ll have live coverage all night.
7:22 p.m. – AP projects Greg Pence wins GOP nomination for Indiana congressional seat once held by brother, Vice President Mike Pence
In one of the races ABC News is watching tonight, AP projects that Republican Greg Pence — the older brother of Vice President Mike Pence — in Indiana’s 6th Congressional District, has a strong lead in his bid for his brother’s old seat.
With 17 percent of precincts reporting, Pence had 68 percent and Jonathan Lamb had 21 percent.
7:10 p.m. – The rest of the polls have closed in Indiana
Indiana voters now wait for results. Next, polls will close in North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio.
6:30 p.m. – Scoop: Blankenship says he’ll defeat Manchin with a banner that reads “Beat Joe”
Controversial Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship isn’t taking the president’s anti-endorsement personally. And he’s already focused on West Virginia’s Democratic incumbent, Sen. Joe Manchin — who he said “will be easy to beat.”
In an interview with ABC News’ Tom Llamas, Blankenship said Manchin “killed himself” by opposing the Trump agenda. And this is his strategy: “Just hang up a banner: Beat Joe,” Blankenship said.
Coming up onon parole and on the ballot. Is Don Blakenship the next outsider about to disrupt the Republican Party? The results of this race and the other big primaries tonight on
— Tom Llamas (@TomLlamasABC)
6:00 p.m. – First poll closure of the night: Indiana
Most polls in the Indiana primary closed at 6 p.m., EST. Some will close at 7 p.m. EST.
The state known for its “Hoosier hospitality” has seen a bitter and personal race in the lead up to the general when the Republican candidate will aim to unseat incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly. Two members of the House, Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, have known each other since college.
The third addition to the race is millionaire business owner Mike Braun.
Indiana is a state President Trump won by nearly 20 points. Vice President Mike Pence previously served as governor. All of the Republican candidates say they are the top pick for backing the Trump agenda.
While the field of candidates is not big, a lack of polling makes it difficult to pin down a definite front-runner.
5:42 p.m. – Candidates make final push for voters to cast their ballots
In West Virginia, sitting Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat who will have to fight for his seat in the midterms, tweeted two hours before the polls closed.
And in Indiana, Rep. Todd Rokita, a Republican candidate running for the Indiana Senate seat:
And in Ohio, Dennis Kucinich — the “boy mayor” who served Cleveland as the youngest mayor in city history at 31, a former Democratic congressman and a former presidential candidate:
One thing is clear — this grassroots campaign has what it takes to win.
Less than 3 hours left in the, and we need your help to keep the momentum going. Tell your friends, family, neighbors: time to:point_right::ballot_box_with_ballot::white_check_mark:!!
— Dennis Kucinich (@powelldennis_Kucinich)
5:28 p.m. – Does Mitch McConnell have a reaction to Blankenship’s “Chinapeople” ad?
Short answer: Wait and see.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he’s going to wait until after the election results are in before he comments on an ad released by Republican candidate Don Blankenship that accused McConnell of creating jobs “for Chinapeople,” a description many saw as racially-offensive.
Last week, Blankenship, a Republican candidate in the West Virginia Senate race and a former CEO of a coal company with a misdemeanor conviction, released an ad featuring an insult aimed directly at McConnell and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
“We’re gonna find out what happens in West Virginia tonight and I may have more to say on that tomorrow,” McConnell said. He also wouldn’t say whether the Republican Party would support Blankenship should he win the primary.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer — the top Democrat in the Senate — echoed McConnell, saying he wouldn’t speculate until the winner is announced. Mariam Khan
4:00 p.m. – The disruptive coal man from West Virginia
Several of today’s primary races have already gained national attention, but none more so than the three-way Republican battle for the Senate in West Virginia.
At the center of the drama is Don Blankenship, a formerCEO who was convicted of a misdemeanor for conspiring to violate mine safety regulations after its Upper Big Branch Mine exploded, killing 29.
Blankenship is running against Republican Congressman Evan Jenkins and current state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and has cast himself as a political outsider willing to take on Washington establishment. On Monday Blankenship even took jabs at President Trump, who implored West Virginians not to vote for him.
To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
3:58 p.m. – What can Tuesday night’s primaries tell us about the midterms?
What insights might tonight’s primaries offer on the broader midterms?
Loyalty to the president is a central issue in the Republican primaries, and GOP candidates across all four states are aiming to prove to voters that they are the true Trump ally.
“In these Republican primaries under the current Senate map, loyalty to Trump is the number one cause. It’s the number one issue,” said Leah Askarinam, a reporter, and analyst at Inside Elections, a nonpartisan outlet that analyzes House, Senate, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, “These candidates have spent the last several months tying themselves as closely as possible to the president. It’s unclear if that will work in a general election. Most of these states did support Trump by more than just a few points.”
The GOP is holding on to a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate and Democrats are defending ten states that voted for Trump in 2016, and both parties are keenly aware that avoiding unforced missteps and nominating quality candidates is the difference between a Senate majority or minority.
Read more in John Verhovek’s story.
3:56 p.m. – Voters in Indiana talk Trump
While the Indiana Senate race serves as a chance for Republicans to bolster their majority in the Senate by unseating a vulnerable Democrat in a red state, some Republican voters in Indiana are saying a front-runner is hard to pinpoint, even though polls close in just a few hours. Multiple voters said they varied between backing Rep. Todd Rokita, Rep. Luke Messer, and businessman Mike Braun.
What these voters are sure about is backing President Trump’s agenda. In many cases, voters have said they like the President’s policies, even though they may not like his personal style.
One voter from Carmel, Indiana, said the president has accomplished a lot while in office but added that he can be “petty.”
And another Carmel noted that she liked that Rokita put a “Make America Great Again” hat on in one of his commercials and talked about a border wall.
For reference — in 2016, Trump carried the state by nearly 20 points. Alisa Wiersema
3:54 p.m. – W.. candidate ‘tired of watching’ opioid crisis
Ayne Amjad works at theof the opioid crisis and environmental hazards which residents say have caused their friends and neighbors to develop .
The problem is felt especially acutely in the rural parts of West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District where Amjad — a somewhat accidental politician — saw patients every day struggling with the effects of the epidemic, high rates of cancer (sometimes explained away by some experts as lifestyle causes) and the high cost of healthcare.
I talked to, a doctor running for Congress in West Virginia. She said “I just got tired of watching things go in a direction I didn’t like and realized the only way you can change things is to get into politics.”
— Stephanie Ebbs (@stephebbs)
“I just got tired of watching things go in a direction I didn’t like and I realized the only way you can change things is to get into politics,” she told ABC News, adding later. “I don’t think we handle it properly, the people making the decisions for drugs are not even healthcare professionals which drives me insane,” she said.
Amjad is one of seven Republicans running for the U.S. House seat held by Rep. Evan Jenkins in the primary election on Tuesday. Jenkins is running in the Republican Senate primary to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen..
Read more in Stephanie Ebbs’ story.
3:54 p.m. – Don Blankenship at center of party-backedprimary fight in West Virginia
Former coal mogul Don Blankenship is at the center of a party-backed, super PAC, Senate primary fight in West Virginia as groups with obscure names and undisclosed donors spend millions of dollars.
The proxy fight — an effort to sway theby influencing whether Blankenship makes it onto the ballot in November — has made the Senate bid one of the most expensive races so far this year.
Democrats have rolled out six-figure ads attacking two GOP primary candidates Evan Jenkins and Patrick Morrisey through the Duty and Country super PAC.
Soorin Kim lays out the numbers.
6:00 a.m. – What’s at stake in the first big primary day Of 2018
ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight offers a take on aspects of the races to watch. Check them out.
WATCH LIVE TONIGHT: You can watch livestreaming coverage of all the primary action starting at 7 p.m. ET on ABCNews.com or on the ABC News app available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store,
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