All Eyes on Florida for Tuesday Primaries

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Voters in five states are preparing for the latest round of races leading up the November elections.

Florida will likely be the most closely-watched contest among the primary and runoff races set for Tuesday. Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Oklahoma will also head to the polls.

The biggest Senate battle in the country was supposed to be the Republican race between Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and conservative challenger Marco Rubio. But in June, bad poll numbers forced Crist to leave the GOP and run as an independent.

That move sets up a three-way contest in November with Rubio and one of two Democrats -- self-made billionaire Jeff Green and Congressman Kendrick Meek.

The top issue among the candidates seems to be tackling unemployment.

"I'm focusing heavily on get out the vote, delivering the message that I'm the candidate that will bring about job creation here, not only in south Florida, but throughout Florida," Meek said.

"I do know how to create jobs," Greene also said on the campaign trail. "I understand the economy and I have the background that's needed to turn this economy and turn this country around."

The Sunshine State also has a big gubernatorial race, Tuesday.

The latest poll showed Republican Atty. Gen. Bill McCollum leading his opponent, health care businessman Rick Scott, by a narrow margin. McCollom is backed by well-known former Gov. Jeb Bush, but Scott has not given up hope.

"As you know, the only poll that matters is the poll on Tuesday," Scott said. "And the poll on Tuesday's going to show that I'm going to win."

The McCollum-Scott winner will face Democrat Alex Sink in November.

In Arizona, Sen. John McCain is looking for his fifth Senate term. During his campaign, McCain moved further to the right, portraying his challenger --former Congressman J.D. Hayworth -- as a candidate who was not the conservative he casted himself to be.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed Arizona's controversial immigration law, is expected to win her primary bid and is also favored for re-election in November.

Also, in Alaska, incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski has a primary challenge from Joe Miller, a decorated combat veteran and former judge who is backed by the Tea Party and Sarah Palin.

Murkowski has lost much of her 30 point lead in the past month.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.