McCain, Rubio, Wasserman Schultz win primary fights

John McCain, Marco Rubio, Debbie Wasserman Schultz win their primaries

Three high-profile incumbents trying to hold on to their jobs in Tuesday's primaries have done so despite facing tough opposition.

Florida's GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain beat back primary challengers, according to the Associated Press.

While favored to win, the establishment officials faced stiffer-than-usual challenges as the bitter and unpredictable presidential race enters its final post-Labor Day push.

McCain, who was first elected senator in 1986 and served as his party's presidential nominee in 2008, edged out tea party conservative challenger Kelli Ward and two other Republicans on the ballot. But the Vietnam War veteran had to deal with a tough fight in a contest highlighting his often uncomfortable relationship with Republican standard-bearer Donald Trump.

RELATED: John McCain's military capture and rescue

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John McCain military capture and rescue
A photo taken by a French cameraman in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. John McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War.
P368426 01: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain Is Pulled Out Of A Hanoi Lake By North Vietnamese Army Soldiers And Civilians October 26, 1967 In Hanoi, North Vietnam. Mccain's A-4E Skyhawk Was Shot Down By A Surface-To-Air Missile. Mccain Broke Both Arms And His Right Knee Upon Ejection And Lost Consciousness Until He Hit The Water. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 04: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain In A Hanoi Hospital During The Vietnam War November, 1967. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 06: (File Photo) A Statue Commemorating October 26, 1967, The Day Lt. Cmdr. John Mccain Was Captured By The North Vietnamese Army, Stands In Hanoi, North Vietnam. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 05: (File Photo) A Mug Shot Of Senator John Mccain As A P.O.W. Taken By The North Vietnamese Sometime Between 1967-73 (Photo By Getty Images)
HANOI, VIET NAM: This file picture taken in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War. One of his rescuers said 24 February 2000, McCain was well treated after being pulled from the lake by villagers. McCain said that upon capture he was beaten by an angry mob and bayoneted in the groin. (B/W ONLY) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
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Last year, Trump suggested that McCain's accolades as a war hero were overblown, and earlier this month, Trump refused to endorse McCain, accusing him of failing to do "a good job" for veterans. He later reversed his decision in favor of backing McCain.

The Arizona senator must now steel himself for a general election race against Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick while sharing the ballot with a nominee whose approval ratings with minority voters have sunk to historic lows. In 2012, non-white voters made up 28 percent of Arizona's electorate.

Sen. John McCain Celebrates Primary Win

In an interview with NBC News this week, McCain dismissed the idea that he must separate himself from Trump, whom he has endorsed. "It's the people of Arizona who know me," he said. "I have 100 percent name ID, they all know me very well, I've been here for many years. So I don't think their judgment is affected by anything but what they view of me, how they view me."

In Florida, Rubio easily prevailed Tuesday night over a challenge from anti-establishment millionaire candidate Carlos Beruff, according to projections by the Associated Press. Rubio won despite taking criticism for reversing his pledge during the Republican presidential primary not to seek re-election after his White House bid.

Rubio will face Patrick Murphy, the winner of the Democratic Senate primary, for one of November's most closely-watched downballot races. (Murphy, a Democratic Party favorite, squared off Tuesday night against liberal firebrand Alan Grayson, whose political fortunes sputtered after allegations of domestic abuse.)

Wasserman Schultz, the former leader of the Democratic National Committee, also hung on after a primary challenge Tuesday. Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down from the helm of the DNC in July amid allegations that she and other Democratic officials had worked to thwart the primary hopes of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Sanders endorsed her challenger, Tim Canova, and backers of the Vermont senator shoveled nearly four million dollars of donations into Canova's war chest.

Rubio looking ahead to November Senate race

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