(CNN) - U.S. Senate races in Kansas and Missouri and a ballot measure seen as a referendum on President Obama's health care reform highlighted Tuesday's primary elections.
Missouri's Proposition C allowed Missouri voters to decide if residents should be allowed to opt out of mandatory health insurance - a key part of the administration's health care plan.
The measure succeeded handily, winning by a three to one margin to allow residents to opt out.
(CNN) – When they say Tuesday is a barn burner in Kansas and Missouri, they're talking about more than close primary races.
Voters are going to the polls on primary day in triple digit heat, which threatens to break records across much of the region.
In Wichita, the National Weather Service said it was already 100 degrees at 11:30 a.m. CDT, with a record high of 108 expected and a heat index over 110.
But officials, who predicted an increase in turnout over previous midterm primaries, did not expect the stifling temperatures to keep many voters away.
Washington (CNN) - Voters from the Great Lakes to the Plains head to the polls Tuesday with primaries in Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri. In the spotlight are a competitive Republican Senate contest and gubernatorial primaries, as well as a key provision in the new federal health care reform law.
The GOP Senate battle is the marquee race in Kansas, as two congressmen fight to replace fellow Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, who is running for governor rather than for re-election.
According to the most recent polls, Rep. Jerry Moran heads into primary day with a lead over Rep. Todd Tiahrt..
"It's been a classic GOP primary, with each congressman claiming to be the true conservative. Moran has tried to be the more fiscal hawk and Tiarht is probably closest to conservatives on social issues," says Nathan Gonzales, political editor for the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report.
Two other Republicans are also on the ballot. While five candidates are on the ballot in the Democratic primary, whoever captures the GOP contest will be considered the overwhelming favorite in the general election.
(CNN) - Two days after a Kansas newspaper revoked its endorsement of a Republican congressional candidate because it came to believe he is a so-called "birther," the campaign is telling the paper the candidate is no such thing.
Twice in the span of 30 days, Republican Tracey Mann has called on President Obama to come forward with proof of his American citizenship. But now his campaign tells the Hutchison News the candidate "misspoke" and has long believed the president has proved his citizenship.
The pushback from Mann's campaign comes after the paper, emphatically withdrew its endorsement of him.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Sam Brownback will announce Thursday he is retiring from the Senate when his term ends in 2010, allowing the Kansas Republican to explore a run for governor.
He will be the second GOP senator this year to publicly state he is leaving at the close of the 111th Congress.
Brownback, who unsuccessfully sought the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, will not reveal his future political plans during the three news conferences planned for Thursday in Kansas. But a source close to Brownback said he will file gubernatorial paperwork in January.
(CNN) - CNN projects that Republican incumbent Pat Roberts will win a third-term in the Senate race in Kansas, defeating Democrat Jim Slatter, a former six-term congressman.
CNN projections are based on actual results and exit poll data from key areas.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama swept Saturday's Democratic contests, giving him considerable momentum heading into Sunday's Maine caucuses and three primaries Tuesday.
John McCain, however, was handed a starkly different message from the GOP, as voters in Louisiana and Kansas indicated they weren't ready to support the Arizona senator. Washington, however, backed the Republican front-runner over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, according to state party officials.
McCain's camp congratulated Huckabee on the victories but with an air of confidence, saying that Huckabee threatened only to chip away at McCain's substantial lead in the GOP race for the presidential nomination.
"The reality is that John McCain is the presumptive nominee of our party," said campaign spokesman Brian Rogers. "We'll campaign in these upcoming states as long as Gov. Huckabee is in the race, but our main focus is on uniting the Republican Party for victory in November."
Though CNN calculations estimate that Huckabee would need to snare hundreds more delegates to catch McCain, the Democrats are in a much tighter race.
(CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee reiterated Saturday night that he will remain in the race for the Republican nomination until someone obtains the 1,191 delegates needed to become the GOP’s presidential nominee.
“People don’t want to be told who their president’s going to be,” Huckabee said when asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to explain his win in the GOP’s caucuses in Kansas Saturday. “And, in the Republican Party, people want to make a choice. They don’t want somebody else making that decision for them,” he added.
“There’s something going on out there, it’s called an election,” Huckabee said. The GOP underdog also told Blitzer that competition is a core principle of the Republican Party.
Related video: Analysis: Huckabee's Kansas win
–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart