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 ClintonOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Bernie Sanders's Super Tuesday problem Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength 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 ComstockLive coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Gun debate raises stakes in battle for Virginia legislature Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats 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-LehtinenVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR Former GOP Rep. Walters joins energy company 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 TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE

Democrats pulled off big victories in Miami, with Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell knocking off moderate Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloRepublicans can't exploit the left's climate extremism without a better idea Progressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign The Memo: Bad polls for Trump shake GOP MORE (R-Fla.). The party also flipped seats in key suburban seats, toppling Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderSharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' Feehery: How Republicans can win back the suburbs K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers 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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms Lawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Malaysia says it will choose 5G partners based on own standards, not US recommendations 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 BarrOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Democrats seek to preempt Trump message on health care | E-cigarette executives set for grilling | Dems urge emergency funding for coronavirus Democrats slam GOP on drug prices in bilingual digital ads On the Trail: Forget the pundits, more electoral votes could be in play in 2020 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.