Offering daily news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Early results: Democrats get their first U.S. House pickup, Florida contests very tight

Polls have now closed in a number of states on the East Coast, and while many votes remain to be counted, Democrats are seeing a few early signs of progress in their quest to capture the United Stated House of Representatives, many governorships, and maybe even the United States Senate.

In Virginia, Democrats netted their first U.S. House pickup with Jennifer Wexton, who is the projected victor over Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th District. This is one of the House districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election but is currently represented by a Republican.

In Florida, Democratic candidates Andrew Gillum and and Bill Nelson held leads for much of the evening, but after many Republican-dominated counties reported in, their Republican opponents Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott took narrow leads. Two vote-rich counties that are key for Democratic hopes, Broward and Miami Dade, have many ballots left to count, so the Democrats could easily recapture leads.

Exit polling by one of two media consortiums surveying voters suggests that many voters consider healthcare to be the most important issue in the 2018 midterms, ranking well ahead of immigration, the economy, and other issue buckets.

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