McCain easily wins 5th Senate termPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX (AP) -- Republican John McCain has defeated a little-known Democrat to win a fifth term in the U.S. Senate.
The general election leg of McCain's campaign was less formidable than his primary challenge from former six-term congressman J.D. Hayworth.
McCain's general election opponent was Rodney Glassman, a 32-year-old former Tucson city councilman who cast himself as an earnest advocate of public education and alternative energy.
Glassman didn't gain much traction in saying that the state has missed out on funding for public works projects because of McCain's opposition to special funding requests known as earmarks.
Glassman also was dogged by allegations that his 2005 doctoral dissertation contained plagiarized material. He denied the allegation.
McCain won another Senate term despite having been labeled at the outset of his re-election campaign as a vulnerable incumbent. In the end, he crushed Hayworth in the primary.
McCain struck a pugnacious tone in the primary. McCain used some of the nearly $20 million he spent to defeat Hayworth on a TV ad in which he walked along a section of fortified border with Mexico, fumed about smugglers and declared, "Complete the danged fence."
He also accused Hayworth of being a "huckster" for appearing in an infomercial promoting free government money on behalf of a company accused of swindling customers.
He didn't show the same intensity in the race against Glassman, Green Party candidate Jerry Joslyn and Libertarian David Nolan.
Instead, his general election campaign consisted mostly of making appearances on behalf of other candidates, running one statewide TV ad, participating in one televised debate and portraying Glassman as an inexperienced candidate.
The only general election TV ad advocating for his re-election had a soft-sell message that contained a voice-over from the 74-year-old candidate saying he has stood up for the state and would return the Arizona to prosperity.
McCain has represented Arizona in Congress for nearly three decades and never lost a race in the state.