Lost Cause: Despite Early Advantage, Democrats Abandon Val Demings as Rubio Pulls Away
Val Demings was one of the Democrat’s favorites going into the midterms, posing a legitimate threat to Republican senator and former presidential candidate Marco Rubio. But with election day less than a week away, that hope now seems out of reach.
According to Politico, Deming continues to hold a spending advantage over Rubio, which was as sizable as 48 million to Rubio’s 36 million in August. Demings broke the fundraising record for any Florida Senate Race challenger in April.
Not to mention, Demings was widely thought of as the perfect candidate to take down Rubio.
— Election News (@ElectionNews_22) November 3, 2022
Demings, a black woman, was also Orlando’s first female police chief with a 27-year career in law enforcement. She has leveraged both of these attributes to appeal to a wide range of voters, even going by the nickname “Chief Demings” in her campaign materials. Demings’ husband was the sheriff and mayor of Orange county as well.
“I’m a proud member of the Democratic Party. But this race is about so much more. “This time is about protecting the Constitution, upholding the rule of law, because we are a nation of laws, and defending our precious system of government, our democracy. If we do that, then we’re going to be just fine.”
Steve Schale, a Democratic consultant who ran former President Barack Obama’s Florida campaign in 2008, made the same point in an interview with The Capitolist.
“Just straight up on paper, Val is about as good a candidate you can draw. The challenge for her is two-fold. She’s going up against somebody who in a lot of ways is sort of the perfect candidate to run as a Republican.”
But, as Schale notes, Rubio is no pushover and still holds a sizable lead in recent polls.
David Custin, a Miami-based political consultant, argued that Rubio’s popularity in South Florida, a critical area for Democrats to win, and his status as Hispanic, being the son of Cuban exiles, make him an electoral juggernaut.
In light of Demings’ dwindling chances, there have been calls for Democrats to pour money into her race, but apparently, party officials see the race as a bad investment.
PLEASE put more MONEY and more SUPPORT behind @valdemings NOW.
This race demands more of your attention.
Val is a great candidate and she can beat Marco Rubio will your FULL SUPPORT.pic.twitter.com/mz3i6QiX5b
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) October 19, 2022
Senator Marco Rubio, once regarded as a potentially vulnerable Republican incumbent, now looks poised to cruise to victory in Florida’s race for U.S. Senate next week. | Opinion by @njhochman https://t.co/obsaco2xaL
— National Review (@NRO) November 3, 2022
Custin made sobering predictions for the ultimate results of the Florida races.
“Right now, this year’s race isn’t about how much will DeSantis beat Crist or how much Rubio will beat Demings. Right now, with a week left, the real race is does Rubio outperform DeSantis or does DeSantis outperform everybody else.”
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