Chances For Marco Rubio’s Re-Election Take A Nosedive After Demings Fundraising Surge

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The Democratic Senate primary campaign of Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) has announced a staggering fundraising haul for the quarter that just concluded, totaling some $4.6 million. Demings is hoping to take on — and unseat — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in the upcoming midterm elections, and Rubio’s campaign brought in a slightly lower total of donations — $4 million — in the same period. So far, Demings seems like the favorite to win the Democratic Senate primary race in Florida. Another potential high-profile contender, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), announced that she’d not be running.

The high fundraising total reported by the Demings campaign suggests a high level of enthusiasm for her efforts. Apparently, some 113,000 individual donors contributed to her campaign across the recently concluded quarter, with the average size of donations at just $26. Meanwhile, Rubio is continuing his alliance with Trumpism, even after originally running against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Rubio has consistently provided space for Trump and his damaging rhetoric. Twice, Rubio voted against convicting Trump after impeachments by the House, and he subsequently voted against the creation of an independent commission to investigate the January Capitol riot, which Trump inspired with his lies about the integrity of last year’s presidential election. Rubio’s decisions make him out to be a largely loyal supporter of Trump’s extremism.

2021 PhD recipient Ashley Daniels and Pearl K. Dowe, who serves as the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Emory University, recently wrote in The Washington Post that they “expect Demings will have a good chance, given her strong fundraising history and her connection to Black female voters in community and civic organizations.” Elsewhere in the country, Democrats are hoping to win Senate seats in states including Pennsylvania and North Carolina, where incumbent Republicans are retiring and where Democrats have been successful or come close to success in recent statewide races. At present, Democrats only have thin control of both chambers of Congress, so every seat especially counts.