A special congressional election that tested US President Donald Trump's clout and cost both parties millions of dollars in battleground Ohio was too close to call early Wednesday (Weds afternoon NZT). Trump claimed victory nevertheless.
The president took credit for Republican Troy Balderson's performance, calling it "a great victory," even though the contest could be headed to a mandatory recount. Democrat Danny O'Connor, trailing in the latest count, vowed: "We're not stopping now."
The candidates were locked in a razor-thin race, which they will reprise in the general election in just three months. There were at least 3,367 provisional ballots left to be reviewed. That's enough for O'Connor to potentially pick up enough to force a recount.
The Associated Press does not declare winners in races subject to an automatic recount.
The Republican president's shadow also loomed over primary contests in four other states, none bigger than Kansas, where Trump roiled the governor's race by opposing the GOP incumbent on the eve of the election.
The day's races, like dozens before them, pitted Trump's fiery supporters against the Democratic Party's anti-Trump resistance. The results are helping determine the political landscape - and Trump's standing within his own party - just before the GOP defends its House and Senate majorities in November.
Voters in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan and Washington state joined those in Ohio in Tuesday's voting.
Kansas Republicans were fighting among themselves in a battle for governor, where Secretary of State Kris Kobach was trying to unseat Governor Jeff Colyer.