Polls close in OH as elections in 5 states wrap up

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Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington also held their regularly scheduled primaries on Tuesday, and the president endorsed candidates in several GOP races across those states.

In other elections held on Tuesday, former Michigan Democratic state Senate leader Gretchen Whitmer beat Bernie Sanders-backed candidate Abdul El-Sayed to be the Democratic candidate for governor of Michigan.

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

Balderson leads O'Connor, 50.1% to 49.3%, with 99% of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press Provisional ballots remain to be counted, and it's possible the race could be headed to an automatic recount, which is triggered when the margin is within 0.5%.

The Republican Party has held the OH 12th District seat for more than three decades, so the very fact that it's so close is significant.

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President Trump campaigned for Balderson, a 56-year-old state senator, this past weekend in an effort to energize the GOP base, but some Republicans anxious that the president's appearance could have had an adverse effect by motivating voters who don't like Trump to come out for O'Connor.

Trump visited the reliably Republican 12th Congressional District in OH at the weekend to try to head off an upset in the race after polls showed a tightening battle.

Democratic challenger Danny O'Connor is critical of both Republicans and Democrats.

Balderson got a majority of the vote, besting upstart Democrat Danny O'Connor perhaps thanks to a surge following a recent rally on his behalf by President Trump. Though Trump came in to campaign with Balderson on Saturday, the rural parts of the district didn't turn out in near the numbers as the suburban areas. The two candidates will face off again in November.

At times, the race has centered on Trump's tax cuts as much as the candidates.

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In Kansas, sitting Governor Jeff Colyer was locked in a close battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination against immigration hardliner Kris Kobach, who received Trump's endorsement on Monday.

On Twitter, Trump called Kobach a "strong and early supporter of mine". Strong on Crime, Border & Military.

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

The pro-Balderson effort has focused largely on motivating Republican voters by casting O'Connor as extreme. Bernie Sanders and NY congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who catapulted to fame when she defeated the No. 4 House Democrat in a June primary.

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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