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U.S. Senate candidate former Sen. George Allen, right, greets U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor R-Va., as they campaign at Randolph-Macon college in Ashland, Va., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

U.S. Senate candidate former Sen. George Allen, right, greets U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor R-Va., as they campaign at Randolph-Macon college in Ashland, Va., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, left, met with supporters, from left, Jeri White, Sharon Damron, Jackie Betts and Betty Gabhart, members of The Women's Network at Fayette County Democratic headquarters in Lexington, Ky., on Monday Nov. 5, 2012. Chandler is being challenged for Kentucky's 6th District by Republican Andy Barr in Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/The Lexington Herald-Leader,Pablo Alcala)

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, left, met with supporters, from left, Jeri White, Sharon Damron, Jackie Betts and Betty Gabhart, members of The Women's Network at Fayette County Democratic headquarters in Lexington, Ky., on Monday Nov. 5, 2012. Chandler is being challenged for Kentucky's 6th District by Republican Andy Barr in Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/The Lexington Herald-Leader,Pablo Alcala)

GOP marches toward control of House

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 11:49 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans drove toward recapturing control of the House for two more years on Tuesday as the two parties traded gains from the Eastern seaboard to the Southwest.

With almost two thirds of the chamber's 435 races called by The Associated Press, Republicans had won 173 seats and were leading in 58 others. There were about 20 other seats in Western states, where polls had just closed and vote counting was beginning, where GOP incumbents were not facing serious challenges.

A party needs 218 seats to control the House.

By late evening in the East, Democrats had ousted five incumbent GOP House members to just two Democrats who were defeated by Republicans. But Republicans also picked up three open seats that had been held by Democrats who are leaving Congress.

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