Rubio defeats Demings to win a third term in the Senate

Rubio defeats Demings to win a third term in the Senate

Demings conceded to Rubio shortly after the run was called. She told a room of supporters that she had spoken with Rubio and congratulated him. “I stand by the people’s decision,” Demings said.

She was a rising party star: President Joe Biden considered her his running mate during the 2020 presidential cycle, and she was an impeachment officer during former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment inquiry.

But Rubio’s campaign has repeatedly hammered her as being in tune with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden has argued she’s too hardline for voters in a state that’s increasingly Republican.

“To succeed in the Democratic Party today, you have to be for the agenda that these groups are for. So they go to Washington and they vote like Demings did, 100% with Pelosi,” Rubio said during a late October appearance on Fox News. “She not only co-sponsored, but voted for this very radical, practically communist budget in her first two years there. … Their argument is: ‘We can vote like leftists, and we’ll raise enough money to confuse people and campaign like a centrist.’

Rubio unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016, where he was ridiculed and crushed by Trump. But Rubio made amends with Trump and became a prominent voice guiding the former president’s policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Two days before Election Day, Trump held a rally for Rubio in Miami.

Miami-Dade, where Biden won by seven percentage points in 2020, ended up taking a major shift to the right to help Rubio win the state. Democrats feared slipping in the county, which is nearly 70% Latino, as Republicans continue to gain ground with Latino voters.

Demings had weighed in on a challenge to Gov. Ron DeSantis, but surprised many top Florida Democrats by running against Rubio instead. She outspent him on TV ads and hit the senator with ads that took aim at Rubio’s congressional attendance record.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down abortion protections under Roe vs. Wade, Demings attacked Rubio after he said he was in favor of a complete abortion ban with no exceptions. Rubio also signed on as a co-sponsor of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (RS.C.) bill that would impose a federal ban on all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, but with exceptions for victims of rape and abuse. incest.

Demings also attacked Rubio’s stance on gun control in a state that had seen two high-profile mass shootings in the past six years.

During their only debate in October, Rubio admitted that he was not in favor of raising the minimum age to buy a gun when he had previously supported such a proposal in the wake of the Parkland massacre. , where 17 people were killed. Rubio argued that such regulations would do little to stop future shootings.

“How long are you going to watch people get shot in freshman grade, fourth grade, high school, college, church, synagogue, grocery store, movie theater, mall and in a nightclub, doing nothing?” Demings said during the debate.

Rubio’s campaign, however, managed to outsmart Demings by fielding strong support from law enforcement across the state — including cutting hard-hitting ads that included local sheriffs questioning his support for the police. Rubio also pointed to his legislative record, including his role in crafting the Paycheck Protection Program, and argued that Demings had little to show for his time in Congress.

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