In the Missouri Senate race to succeed retiring four-term GOP incumbent Kit Bond, the two party frontrunners easily won their respective primaries.
On the Republican side, Rep. Roy Blunt, the former House majority whip who has been in Congress since 1996, easily triumphed in a nine-way primary battle that included state Sen. Chuck Purgason, who had Tea Party support and boasted the endorsement of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, a/k/a Joe the Plumber.
For the Democrats, the landslide winner was Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a member of one of Missouri's most prominent families. Her father Mel Carnahan was the incumbent governor running for a Senate seat in 2000 when he perished in a plane crash three weeks before the election. Nonetheless, he was victorious, and the acting governor appointed his widow -- Robin's mother -- Jean Carnahan to the seat; Jean Carnahan was defeated two years later. And Robin's brother Russ holds the St. Louis suburban House seat formerly held by Richard Gephardt.
Republicans are favored to pick up anywhere between three and eight Senate seats this year, but Missouri is one where Democrats have recruited their strongest possible candidate. The latest polls have Blunt ahead, but by single digits.