US midterms 2018 results – when are the exit polls released and what time do the results come in?

But it's also being viewed as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump and will affect how he governs for the next two years.

When are the exit polls released?

Exit polls will be released by major US broadcasters as each State closes its polls.

A huge number of seats are being contested — 435 in the House Of Representatives, 35 in the Senate, and Governorships across the US and other local and mayoral ballots.

And because the US has six different time zones, polls in different States will be closing at different times.

There is a strict embargo on any news coming from the early waves of exit poll data until 5pm eastern time (10pm GMT).

By around 5:45pm broadcasters will be in a position to reveal initial demographic information such as voter turnout in eastern areas.

As states close their polls, broadcasters will analyse their exit polls before projecting winners.

These projections may change throughout the night as results come in.


When will the results come in?

The first official results won't be announced until at least the middle of Wednesday morning in the UK.

A high voter turnout and the size of some states may lead to further delays.

And again, due to time differences, many polls in western states will still be open as eastern states close.

But depending on when key seats are announced, it could allow for broadcasters or other news outlets to call the overall result early.

In the 2014 midterms the Associated Press called the Senate for the Republicans at 11.25pm eastern time (4:20am GMT).

Final results in California often take far longer.


When the polls close and what are the seats to watch?

6pm US eastern time (11pm GMT)

  • Polls close in most of Indiana and eastern Kentucky
  • Exit polls for indicative House of Representatives (HOR) seats could provide clues to how night will fare for Democrats and Republicans
  • Early exit polls for the Senate race in Indiana will come in – again giving a clue as to how the night will go

7pm US (12am GMT)

  • Polls close in most of Florida, Georgia, the rest of Indiana, the rest of Kentucky, most of New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
  • Georgia and Florida governor results (known as the gubernatorial election) interesting as Trump candidates pitch against progressives in swing states
  • Exit polls from the Florida and Georgia Senate race will be closely watched as an indicator for the night

7:30pm (12:30am GMT)

  • Polls close in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia
  • HOR Seats in Ohio and North Carolina, should they turn Democrat, could be a sign of a "blue wave"
  • If Democrats manage to hold Senate seats in each of the three states they should keep a healthy standing

8pm (1am GMT)

  • Polls close in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, the rest of Florida, Illinois, most of Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, most of Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, the rest of New Hampshire, New Jersey, some counties in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, eastern South Dakota, most of Texas and Tennessee
  • The big moment of election night as a raft of exit polls sweep in
  • A tranche of tight HOR races in these states will paint an initially confusing picture
  • The Senate could be decided at this point as the majority of the key battles are lost and won here — such as Missouri, North Dakota, Texas and Tennessee

8:30pm (1:30pm GMT)

  • Polls close in Arkansas
  • No expected upsets from this state

9pm (2am GMT)

  • Polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, the rest of Kansas, the rest of Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, the rest of North Dakota, the rest of South Dakota, the rest of Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming
  • Likeliest time when we will know if the Democrats are on course to win the HOR
  • Arizona Senate race could see a seat picked up for the Democrats
  • Final North Dakota and Texas polls will close — with exit polls projecting the Senate winners in these battlegrounds

10pm (3am GMT)

  • Polls close in southern Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, part of one county in Oregon and Utah
  • Battle for the Senate should conclude here as competitive final states wrap up

11pm (4am GMT)

  • Polls close in California, Hawaii, the rest of Idaho, the rest of Oregon and Washington
  • California and Washington election results are often delayed for days due to postal voting

12-1am (5-6am GMT)

  • Polls close in Alaska
  • HOR race could see a slim chance of the Democrats picking up a seat
  • Dems also look promising for the Governor race


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