Republican Senators Marco Rubio and John McCain have won primaries for the Senate in their respective states of Florida and Arizona.
On Tuesday, Rubio defeated business executive Carlos Beruff, securing around 72 percent of the vote and McCain defeated former Arizona state Senator Kelli Ward, holding a 20-percentage-point lead in early results, 55-35.
However, both Rubio and McCain will have to defend their Senate seats against two Democratic Representatives in November.
Rubio will face Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy and McCain is slated to face Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the Nov. 8 election.
“The balance of the Senate and the outcome of the presidential election are all hanging on Florida,” Rubio predicted in a fundraising appeal late on Tuesday.
This is “an unusual road back” to the Senate, he said, adding, “but, I just couldn’t be at peace with the idea that we were going to not just potentially lose the Senate seat but lose the balance of power in the Senate at this critical moment in our nation’s history.”
Rubio is just months off a failed presidential campaign where his own state voted for New York businessman Donald Trump instead of him. The Florida senator has since expressed tepid support for the GOP nominee.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio speaks to supporters as he stops to thank volunteers at a phone bank on the final day before the Florida primary election on August 29, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (AFP)
McCain has said this year’s race could be the toughest of his political career which has spanned over three decades.
“This one has a ways to go yet, and it’s not going to get any easier,” he said on Tuesday.
Some Republican operatives have predicted that McCain could join Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and other GOP senators and distance himself from Trump, however, McCain ruled it out in an interview last week.
“There’s no reason to do that,” McCain told POLITICO. “They all know me. Everybody in Arizona really knows me unless they just moved in.”