While McSally, a two-term congresswoman and former combat fighter pilot, had the strongest resume, she failed in this regard. Bill Nelson's seat in Florida and win in Arizona's Senate race in order to have a shot a taking the majority in the Senate.
The primary happened in the shadow of the death of Arizona's senior senator, John McCain, whose body will lie at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday. McCain, who represented Arizona in both houses of Congress for more than 30 years, wasn't exactly embraced by any of the candidates in the race - Ward, GOP Rep. Martha McSally or former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
But Republican strategists warned that her shift to the right on Trump and his hard-line immigration policies could also prove an albatross in November, when she will face a well-funded moderate Democratic congresswoman, Kyrsten Sinema, in a race expected to be tight. The outcome guarantees Arizona will elect its first female senator in November.
"Independent, unaffiliated voters have a generally negative view of the president, and that's the audience McSally is going to have to appeal to", said Paul Bentz, a veteran Arizona Republican political consultant not involved in the campaign. But Trump's surprise endorsement of DeSantis in December appears to give the congressman an edge heading into Tuesday's contest.
Republican Governor Doug Ducey will make the appointment and has said he will wait until after McCain's funeral on Sunday to publicize his choice.
Other contenders include Jon Kyl, who served with McCain in the Senate before and was Republican whip for a time, and Barbara Barrett, a former United States ambassador to Finland who unsuccessfully ran for Arizona governor in 1994.
The GOP total came to nearly 35 percent of what Trump won in Florida in 2016. In the state's 9th Congressional District, Steve Ferrara, the former Navy chief medical officer, won the GOP nomination to face Greg Stanton, Phoenix's Democratic former mayor.
Trump warns of violence if Republicans lose midterms
That can only be done by Congress or the Supreme Court, should it rule the law unconstitutional, which it has not. He said: "They will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently ".
That's a message that may play well among a general electorate in West Virginia, where Trump won by more than 40 percentage points in 2016, but Trump carried Florida by only a single percentage point.
The nation's eyes are on Arizona and its hotly contested U.S. Senate race, seen as a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats fighting to retake control of the chamber and challenge President Donald Trump's agenda on everything from illegal immigration to taxes and trade.
"What makes this race unique is that in nearly every criteria, they're equally qualified in terms of money and campaign experience", she said.
Polls have shown a close race.
In a state whose electoral votes went to Trump, the Republican nominee could use voters' support for the president to their advantage.
Graham's top challengers include former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a progressive favorite endorsed by US Senator Bernie Sanders. Cornett is running on his government experience, while Stitt has campaigned as the outsider, self-funding his campaign and hitting Cornett for not supporting Trump enough. It was drawn to be competitive but has leaned Democrat since 2012.