Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Is Rubio In Trouble?

Marco Rubio, who Time magazine once touted as the savior of the Republican party, finds himself in a tight re-election race against Rep. Patrick Murphy here in Florida.

Recruited, touted and funded by the DSCC, Murphy spent the weeks before the Trump implosion explaining why that group and a related super PAC had already started to scrap $6 million of $10 million in planned ad buys. He had $4 million left to spend, just $600,000 less than the incumbent. Rubio’s line that “both candidates” were flawed skipped over Clinton’s higher favorable ratings — still underwater, but not as toxic in Florida as Trump.

And Democrats, who a month earlier had despaired about beating Rubio, began the week looking for an opening — a path to the Senate laid by angry Trump voters leaving the rest of their ballots blank.

Not everyone has declared the race over. Last week, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) flew into Orlando to join Murphy and local candidates for Congress at a news conference commemorating four months since the Pulse nightclub shootings.

“I spent the morning on the phone calling my donors and national donors, telling them to put money into Florida,” Chris Murphy said. “I think Trump is the kiss of death for down-ballot candidates no matter what you do. If you don’t pull your support, you’re going to get asked questions about why you’re sticking with this monster.”

If there’s an ad campaign for Murphy here in South Florida, I’ve missed it, but perhaps that’s because the campaign knows they have this part of the state sewn up and need to spend their cash in other markets such as Tampa and Jacksonville where there aren’t as many Democrats but might be going for the disgruntled Republicans.

That said, the folks at FiveThirtyEight give Mr. Murphy a 28.4% chance of winning.  Which is too bad because he’s running against an unprincipled opportunist who sees his job in the Senate as a temporary position until he can try again to run for the White House.