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 ClintonTester will endorse a 2020 candidate 'in the next week' Democratic candidates should counter Trump's foreign policy 2020 Democrats jockey over surging college costs 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 ComstockK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers GOP lawmaker introduces bill to stop revolving door Ex-lawmakers face new scrutiny over lobbying 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-LehtinenK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Ex-GOP Rep. Denham heads to lobbying firm K Street boom extends under Trump, House Dems 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 TrumpDemocrats claim victory as Trump gets battered in court Juan Williams: Anti-abortion extremism is on the rise Trump feels squeeze in tax return fight MORE

Democrats pulled off big victories in Miami, with Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell knocking off moderate Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloDisinvited GOP lawmaker turns up at Dem hearing Overnight Energy: 2020 rivals rip Biden over expected 'middle ground' climate plan | Dems cancel plans to invite Republican to testify on climate change | House passes .2B disaster aid bill over Trump objections Dems cancel plans to bring in Republican as climate change witness 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 PelosiDemocrats claim victory as Trump gets battered in court GOP rep criticizes Trump for tweeting Pelosi video America has no time to wait for impeachment 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 BarrDying on the track: Horse racing is at a crossroads On The Money: House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns | Trump touts trade talks as China, US fail to reach deal | Five things to know about Trump's trade war with China | GOP offers support for Trump on tariffs GOP offers support for Trump on China tariffs 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.