Democrats get first House pick-up of midterms: US networks

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Washington, DC, USA Nov 07, 2018, 06.34 AM (IST)

Democrats claimed their first pick-up of the midterm elections Tuesday, networks projected, flipping a US House seat in Virginia seen as crucial to their effort to regain a majority in the chamber.

With nearly two thirds of ballots counted, Democratic state lawmaker Jennifer Wexton was ahead of Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock by 57 per cent to 43 per cent in their suburban northern Virginia district that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, NBC reported.

Democrats must gain 23 seats in the 435-member House of Representatives to regain control of the chamber, which is currently led by President Donald Trump's Republicans. 

Meanwhile, Vermont's Bernie Sanders has cruised to re-election for his third term in the Senate, easily outpacing eight candidates.

Sanders, the independent who has long been one of the state's most popular politicians, spent little time campaigning ahead of the election.

Sanders has faced few serious opponents since he was first elected to the state's lone seat in the House in 1990. He moved up to the Senate in 2006.

Story highlights

With nearly two thirds of ballots counted, Democratic state lawmaker Jennifer Wexton was ahead of Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock by 57 percent to 43 percent in their suburban northern Virginia district that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, NBC reported.