Democrats edge closer to the House majority

Democrats are inching closer to taking back the House majority for the first time since 2010, with the party flipping at least 17 seats and leading in more than a dozen other races.

Fox News projected that Democrats would win the House, while NBC News predicted the party was likely to take over the House. The party needs five more seats for the House majority, as Democrats continue to dominate in suburban districts Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP struggles with retirement wave Overnight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE carried in 2016.

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Democrats had won key swing seats in New Jersey, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and Colorado. They are ahead in more than a dozen other races and also have their eyes on additional gains in California, where polls have yet to close.

Networks projected early in the night that Democrat Jennifer Wexton would defeat Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockGun debate raises stakes in battle for Virginia legislature Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers MORE (R-Va.) in a critical race in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, and that Democrat Donna Shalala would defeat Republican Maria Elvira Salazar in a fight to win an open seat vacated by retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenRepublican Salazar seeks rematch with Shalala in key Miami House district Latina leaders: 'It's a women's world more than anything' Ex-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm MORE (R).

Both Shalala and Wexton were favored to win their races, as the two districts were both won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 over President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE

Democrats pulled off big victories in Miami, with Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell knocking off moderate Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloPelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House The Hill's Morning Report - Congress returns: What to expect Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback MORE (R-Fla.). The party also flipped seats in key suburban seats, toppling Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Mike Pompeo to speak at Missouri-Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation MORE (R-Kan.) in the Kansas City suburbs and claiming retiring Rep. David Trott's (R-Mich.) open seat.

The party is also starting to make gains in Pennsylvania, a state that became promising for Democrats' majority hopes after court-ordered redistricting. Democratic civil rights attorney Mary Gay Scanlon easily won in Pennsylvania's 5th District. And Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) won a full term in the newly created 17th District.

At the Democrats’ watch party at the Hyatt Regency in D.C., party leaders were still guaranteeing victory, even after some early pickup opportunities had slipped through their fingers.

“I am confident the Democrats will win the majority,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Democrats will 'certainly' beat Trump in 2020 Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing MORE (D-Calif.) echoed that message.

“When the Democrats win — and we will win tonight — we’ll have a Congress that is open, transparent and accountable to the American people,” she said.

“We will strive for bipartisanship, seeking common ground, as we are responsible to do,” she added. “But when we can’t find that common ground, standing our ground.”

At the same time, Republicans have hope that the big blue wave Democrats were hoping to see would not materialize.

GOP candidates in Florida won a series of contested races, and in a key race in Kentucky, Rep. Andy BarrAndy Hale BarrFarm manager doubts story horse bit Pence: report McConnell accepts Democratic rep's challenge to 5 debates McConnell campaign criticized for tombstone with challenger's name MORE (R) was projected to defeat Democrat Amy McGrath, a retired fighter pilot.

The suburban Lexington district was viewed as an early predictor of Democrats' performance in these redder districts and whether a blue wave was on the horizon.

In Virginia, Republican Denver Riggleman was projected to defeat Democrat Leslie Cockburn in another race where Democrats had hoped to make gains.

The GOP mood was also bolstered by positive results in the Senate, which the GOP is projected to retain. Republicans had gained two Senate seats as of 10:30 p.m., with a number of contests still in play.

Updated at 10:29 p.m.

Mike Lillis contributed.