A Canadian's guide to watching the U.S. midterm elections
Nick Kirmse, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, November 5, 2018 5:58PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 6, 2018 6:36PM EST
As voters in the U.S. head to the polls Tuesday for one of the highest-stakes midterm elections in recent history, here’s how Canadians can follow along.
Below is a comprehensive list of poll closing times and significant moments to watch for on election night.
All times noted are in Eastern Standard Time.
- Watching the U.S. midterms? Here's what you need to know
- Follow our full midterm elections coverage at CTVNews.ca and on CTV News Channel, starting at 8 p.m. ET
Polls close in: Indiana (EST), Kentucky (EST)
Things to watch for: Indiana’s lone state Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly is looking to fend off challenger Mike Braun in a state that Trump won by 19 percentage points.
John Yarmuth faces a similar threat in the House, where the 3rd Congressional District Democrat faces the Republican party’s attempt to “flip” the seat to challenger Vickie Glisson.
But all may not be lost for the Democrats in the 6th Congressional District, where incumbent Republican Andy Barr only has a narrow lead over Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot.
A McGrath victory here would be an early sign that the Democratic wave may happen.
Polls close in: Florida (CST), Georgia, Indiana (CST), Kentucky (CST), most towns in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
Things to watch for: Democrats may make some noise in Florida, where Andrew Gillum could become the state’s first Democrat governor in 20 years if he beats former Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis.
Florida will also see the second Senate seat up for grabs that Democrats need to win if they hope to have a chance of taking control of the Senate when Sen. Bill Nelson goes up against outgoing Governor Rick Scott.
Democrat Stacey Abrams could make history in Georgia -- with a little help from Oprah -- if she becomes the nation’s first black female governor by beating Republican candidate Brian Kemp.
Polls close in: North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia
Things to watch for: Ohio is where the floodgates could potentially open for Democrat victories in the House, with multiple races close enough to see seats flip.
Ohio’s 12th district, while not strategically important, has garnered attention as a grudge match of sorts. Rep. Troy Balderson won the seat in a special election earlier this year against Danny O’Connor – the man he’s now facing for a full two-year term.
Ohio’s gubernatorial race is also worth watching as former GOP presidential candidate John Kasich moves on from office due to term limits.
Also of note is West Virginia, where Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin is leading the polls by a strong margin, despite the state going to Trump by 42 percentage points only two years ago.
If the Democrats maintain their Senate seats here, Indiana and Florida, they should be on course to avoid major losses.
Polls close in: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida (CST), Illinois, Kansas (CST), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (EST), Mississippi, Missouri, the rest of New Hampshire, New Jersey, some counties in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, eastern South Dakota, most of Texas, Tennessee
Things to watch for: The battle for the Senate rages on, with three of the four most likely tipping point races reporting in at 8 p.m.
North Dakota’s Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable incumbents, with her race leaning towards her Republican opponent in a state that’s otherwise very Republican-friendly.
Missouri Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill’s seat may be in danger as she faces state Attorney General Josh Hawley, making last-minute appeals to the right in a state that Trump won by 19 per cent in 2016.
And in Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz looks to be in a strong position against challenger Beto O’Rourke, but an upset isn’t out of the question with the challenger’s strong grassroots support.
There are also several pick up opportunities for House seats for the Democrats here. Pennsylvania has eight possible seats that the Democrats could win, alongside four competitive races in New Jersey, two in Kansas and one in Michigan.
Polls close in: Arkansas
Things to watch for: Not much. Arkansas doesn’t look like it will provide any real challenges for Republican incumbents.
Polls close in: Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas (MST), Michigan (CST), Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, the rest of North Dakota, South Dakota (CST), Texas (MST), Wisconsin, Wyoming
Things to watch for: This is the point where it will start to become clear whether the Democrats have succeeded in taking control of the House.
House seats in Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota present some of the clearest opportunities for the Democrats to pick up seats.
Also out of Arizona, Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has an opportunity to gain a seat for the party after vocal Trump-detractor Sen. Jeff Flake’s retirement, if she can squeak out a win in the close race against Rep. Martha McSally.
And in Wisconsin, incumbent Gov. Scott Walker may be in trouble, with the majority of polls giving challenger Tony Evers a lead.
Polls close in: Idaho (MST), Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Oregon (MST), Utah
Things to watch for: The battle for the Senate should come to an end with the conclusion of the last of the competitive Senate races.
Montana’s Democrat Sen. Jon Tester is looking to maintain his seats in a state that went for Trump in the 2016 election.
In Nevada, Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s seat is considered one of the best bets for Democrats to pick up a seat – being the only GOP Senator seeking re-election in a state that went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Polls close in: California, Hawaii, Idaho (PST), Oregon (PST), Washington
Things to watch for: Unless Oregon sees an upset of Gov. Kate Brown, the focus by this point will be almost entirely on the House.
California has several competitive races in the House that could either determine or further strengthen the battle.
But for a live viewer, California and Washington hold little interest, as they allow voting by mail and results can often be delayed by days.
Polls close in: Alaska
Things to watch for: Alaska Governor Bill Walker made the race more interesting when he suspended his re-election campaign only weeks before the midterms, throwing his support to Democrat candidate Mark Begich.
With files from The Associated Press