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 ClintonTrump boasts about checking gas prices while in motorcade: 'You think Hillary Clinton would've done that?' Harry Reid on Iraq War vote: 'It tainted my heart' New Hampshire is ‘must-win’ state for Warren, says veteran political reporter 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 ComstockDems win Virginia state Senate special election Dem rep asks for asks for pay to be withheld during shutdown New Dem lawmaker hangs trans flag outside office on Capitol Hill 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-LehtinenEx-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm Black Caucus sees power grow with new Democratic majority Pressure on K Street to reflect growing diversity in Congress 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 TrumpHouse Freedom Caucus calls for Congress to work on shutdown through break Democrat previews Mueller questions for Trump’s AG nominee Trump inaugural committee spent ,000 on makeup for aides: report MORE

Democrats pulled off big victories in Miami, with Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell knocking off moderate Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloEx-GOP Rep. Ryan Costello joins group pushing carbon tax Hispanic Caucus boasts record membership in new Congress Chuck Todd says his show is 'not going to give time to climate deniers' MORE (R-Fla.). The party also flipped seats in key suburban seats, toppling Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderBold, bipartisan action on child care will win plenty of friends Pompeo seen as top recruit for Kansas Senate seat Pat Roberts won't seek Senate reelection 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiSenators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks On The Money: Shutdown hits Day 24 | Trump touts need for wall in speech to farmers | Poll numbers sag | House Dems push stopgap bills | How the shutdown could harm the economy | TSA absences raise stakes for deal Feehery: Current shutdown impasse is a fight over peanuts 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 BarrGarland (Andy) Hale BarrTop 5 races to watch in 2019 GOP seeks to ram through Trump’s B wall demand Election Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race 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.