John McCain beats J.D. Hayworth in GOP Senate race
Sen. John McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee who was once widely seen as potentially vulnerable in the year of the anti-establishment "tea party," defeated GOP challenger J.D. Hayworth in Tuesday's closely watched primary election.
Early election results showed McCain handily beating both Hayworth, a former Arizona congressman, and Jim Deakin, a little-known, self-described "tea party" activist.
Who McCain will face in the Nov. 2 general election was less clear, although early results showing former Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman pulling ahead of former state Rep. Cathy Eden, former Phoenix New Times reporter John Dougherty and political organizer Randy Parraz in the four-way race for the Democratic nomination.
The victory did not come easy or cheap.
McCain, who turns 74 on Sunday, from the start took his opponents seriously and ran a vigorous campaign that combined exhaustive stumping across the state at town-hall meetings and a merciless negative advertising blitz that savaged Hayworth's reputation as a fiscal conservative. He also called in marquee-name help from allies such as his 2008 running mate (and tea party favorite) Sarah Palin, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.; and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. McCain's campaign spending has already topped $20 million, unprecedented in an Arizona U.S. Senate race.