After funneling $21 million into his campaign, Arizona Sen. John McCain successfully withstood a primary challenge from former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth on Tuesday night.
Once labeled a vulnerable incumbent, the four-term Arizona Republican was the clear front-runner against Hayworth going into the race in which he cast his opponent as a late-night infomercial huckster in a series of devastating ads.
"I have stood up and led the fight as a fiscal conservative and a leader on national defense and a strong supporter of the men and women who are fighting and sacrificing for this nation," McCain told a woman who questioned his record at a town hall meeting last week.
Long unpopular with some home-state conservatives, McCain immediately recognized the threat posed by Hayworth, a talk-radio host and former six-term congressman from Scottsdale. And he set out to neutralize it. McCain also realized that the anti-establishment fervor could cost him his seat in the primary; it already had claimed two other senators -- Republican Bob Bennett of Utah and Democrat Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.