Bernie Sanders, the leftist senator who battled Hillary Clinton for the Democratic White House nomination in 2016, posted an early win Tuesday as polls began to close in the US midterm election.
US television networks called the Vermont race comfortably in favor of the independent Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats and was easily re-elected to a third Senate term.
The expected victory was among the first two of the heated election night seen as a test of Donald Trump's presidency, with opposition Democrats hoping to seize control of the Republican-led legislature.
The other early win was in Virginia, where networks called the race in favor of Tim Kaine, a Democratic senator who was Clinton's running mate in the 2016 presidential race.
Kaine soundly defeated his Republican challenger Corey Stewart, a Trumpian opponent who fell under sharp criticism for his links to extreme-right figures.