Blunt wins Republican Senate primary

Rep. Roy Blunt (R) won Missouri's Republican Senate primary Tuesday by a wide margin and will face Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) in November in the race to fill retiring Sen. Kit Bond's (R) seat.

Blunt faced eight Republican primary opponents, led by Missouri state Sen. Chuck Purgason, who had some Tea Party backing throughout the state.

The Associated Press called the race with 11 percent of precincts reporting. Blunt had 72 percent of the vote to Purgason's 12 percent. The rest of the Republican field lagged well behind. 

Purgason was unable to raise enough cash to get TV ads up before the primary, although he did get an assist from Joe the Plumber (aka Samuel Wurzelbacher), who ran a TV ad labeling Purgason "the true conservative."

Carnahan also won her race by a wide margin.

Facing only token opposition for the past several months, Blunt and Carnahan have both largely focused their fire on each other.

None of the so-called outsider candidates in the Democratic or Republican primaries were able to gain any traction against Blunt or Carnahan, who were both well funded and backed by their respective state and national party establishments.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an e-mail memo blasted out Tuesday night that the party is confident Blunt will keep the seat in the Republican column this November.

Cornyn said Carnahan "enthusiastically endorsed the costly policies that have contributed to our nation’s record $13 trillion debt." He also tied her to President Obama, which is a centerpiece of the party's strategy in the race. 

Blunt's campaign has already run a campaign ad featuring photos of Obama's recent fundraiser for Carnahan in Kansas City. 

Meanwhile, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) congratulated Carnahan in a statement and said she is "committed to changing the way Washington works.

"Republicans tonight nominated a candidate who represents the very worst of Washington," Menendez said. "Congressman Roy Blunt is the consummate Washington insider who votes with the corporate special interests every chance he gets."

—This post was updated at 9:43 p.m. and 10:29 p.m.

More in Presidential races

Iowa, New Hampshire battles heat up for Republican field

Read more »