Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the embattled former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, beat back a primary challenge from an upstart political novice backed by Bernie Sanders and funded by his supporters.

With 82 percent of the vote in, the incumbent congresswoman was leading college professor Tim Canova, 57-43 percent, and was declared the winner by the AP.

Wasserman Schultz stepped down from the DNC near the start of the Democratic National Convention this summer after an email hack fueled criticism that she was favoring Hillary Clinton over Sanders in the presidential primary process.

Canova benefited from millions poured into his campaign by disaffected Sanders supporters, but it was not enough in a district Clinton won by 40 points in the primary and where Wasserman Schultz is very well known, having been in this seat for more than a decade.

Another big-name incumbent, Marco Rubio, also won his primary race despite a challenge from a wealthy Trump-like supporter who poured millions of his own money into the race. That sets up a key Senate race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Polls close later Tuesday night in Arizona, where John McCain's is facing a primary challenge as well centered on the issue of immigration. McCain, who turned 80 on Monday, is seeking a sixth term.

Rubio will face Democrat Patrick Murphy, who also easily won his primary against controversial Congressman Alan Grayson.

With 93 percent of the vote in, Rubio was up 72-19 percent over developer Carlos Beruff, who spent more than $8 million of his own money on the race. Congressman Murphy also appears to have easily defeated Rep. Alan Grayson. With 93 percent in, Murphy was up 59-18 percent.

Rubio had promised not to seek reelection, but after his failed presidential run, he reconsidered. It was a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats in their quest to take back the Senate — until Rubio was convinced to reverse course.

Republicans currently hold a 54-46 majority in the Senate. But if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, Democrats would need to pick up four seats for control of the Senate. The vice president would break any ties, thereby giving control of the agenda to the party in the White House. That's a doable feat considering Democrats are contesting in 10 GOP-held seats, while Republicans are challenging in one (Nevada).

Rubio's decision, two days before the filing deadline, to get back in gave Republicans a shot in the arm. That happened to be the same day a local CBS Miami affiliate published a bombshell report about Murphy's past. It showed the 33-year-old, whose father owns a multimillion-dollar construction company, embellished his business record and academic credentials.

Despite all that, the Democratic establishment worked for Murphy over Grayson. That's because Grayson's problems ranged from having a fund set up in the Cayman Islands in order to solicit funds from foreign investors to his ex-wife accusing him of domestic abuse.

Grayson might have been hoping he wouldn't be straying too far from Capitol Hill even if he lost. That's because his new wife, Dena Grayson, whom he married in May, was vying to replace her husband in Congress. But she lost, finishing third to Darren Soto.

Rubio starts as the favorite against Murphy. Democrats hope a landslide Clinton wave could help carry Murphy into the Senate. But Florida has been tight, with an edge to Clinton, on the presidential level to this point.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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