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Politics LIVE: Republicans are facing 3 huge tests in the first primary elections of the season

Primary races in West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio could set the tone for the midterm elections in November, where Republicans are hoping to box out Democrats vying to upend their congressional majority. Democrats are looking to put up a more forceful challenge against President Donald Trump.

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(Rob Crandall/Shutterstock)

Voters on Tuesday night in West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio are set to pick candidates vying for Senate seats in the November midterm election.

Political observers have eyes on West Virginia in particular, where unconventional candidates like coal baron Don Blankenship have sought to position themselves as political lookalikes to President Donald Trump. And in Indiana, the Republican primary candidate Mike Braun, a businessman and former GOP state representative, has touted his self-funded campaign.

Tuesday night's primaries are a pivotal test for Republicans. Trump won all three states in the 2016 presidential election, but the party at large is facing considerable headwinds due in part to a Trump administration continually tied up in controversy, and an energized groundswell from Democrats looking to regain a majority in Congress.

Keep scrolling for the results of Tuesday night's primary races:

West Virginia

Patrick Morrisey. play

Patrick Morrisey.

(AP Photo/John Raby)

Results: 93.6% precincts reporting (these will be updated as numbers come in)

Republicans

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: 34.8% (winner, Associated Press projects)

Rep. Evan Jenkins: 29.1%

Don Blankenship: 20.1% (conceded, NBC News reports)

Total votes: 126,529

Democrats

Sen. Joe Manchin (incumbent): 69.8% (winner, Associated Press projects)

Paula Jean Swearengin: 30.2%

Total votes: 149,295

West Virginia is perhaps the most closely watched of the three key Senate primary races. While incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is expected to easily defeat his challenger, Paula Jean Swearengin, insurgents on the Republican side could make or break the party's chances in November.

Chief among those challengers is Don Blankenship, an ex-convict businessman, and self-styled firebrand who has sought to closely tie himself to President Donald Trump, leaning on anti-establishment rhetoric. Blankenship ran a coal company and spent time in federal prison in the aftermath of a 2010 mining disaster that killed 29 people.

More than 40% of voters in West Virginia chose Trump during the 2016 presidential election.



Indiana

Senate candidate Mike Braun. play

Senate candidate Mike Braun.

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, Pool)

Results: 92.8% precincts reporting (these will be updated as numbers come in)

Republicans

Mike Braun: 41.2% (winner, CNN and The Wall Street Journal, and CBS News project)

Rep. Todd Rokita: 30.0%

Rep. Luke Messer: 28.9%

Total votes: 504,708

Democrats

Sen. Joe Donnelly (incumbent, unchallenged)

The Senate race in Indiana was the expensive primary battle in the country, according to the Indianapolis Star, which noted that candidates spent $1 million dollars on ads in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary, with Braun, a self-funded candidate and businessman, taking the lead on that front.

Trump won Indiana in the 2016 presidential election by about 19 points.



Ohio

Jim Renacci, pictured with Donald Trump. play

Jim Renacci, pictured with Donald Trump.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Results: 83.5% precincts reporting (these will be updated as numbers come in)

Republicans

Rep. Jim Renacci: 46.7% (winner, Associated Press projects)

Mike Gibbons: 32.0%

Melissa Ackison: 13.3%

Total votes: 672,035

Democrats

Sen. Sherrod Brown (incumbent, unchallenged)

President Donald Trump gave Renacci the thumbs-up in Ohio, a state where Trump won more than 51% of the vote in the 2016 general election.

Unlike West Virginia and Indiana, the president's endorsement could be particularly consequential, for better or worse. While Trump flipped the state in 2016, a majority of voters there picked Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.