This election year has already brought plenty of surprises in Congress. This week, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., called it quits. And now one of the most prominent moderate Republicans is officially facing a tough challenge from his own party.
Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., once one of the most conservative U.S. congressmen, would like to become one of the most conservative senators by beating the moderate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
"You could say there are two John McCains. One who campaigns as a conservative and legislates like a liberal," Hayworth said.
"I'm confident of victory," McCain said. "Polls show us with 20 point lead."
Mike O'Neil, a top Arizona political analyst, rates the race a toss-up at this point, with pluses for both.
"Five million dollars in the bank, national resources, endorsement of every single establishment figure there is," O'Neil said of McCain.
"J.D. is going to be the favorite of the right, the right tends to predominate in Republican primary elections and they've had no love for John McCain," O'Neil said of Hayworth.
As Hayworth entered the race this week, he came out punching.
"When it comes time to debate I'm going to ask for a 3rd chair in case both McCains show up," Hayworth said.
But McCain was not going to back down.
"The voters of his district threw him out in 2006, a heavy Republican district," McCain said.