BREAKING NEWS: Marco Rubio BEATS Democrat Val Demings in major Florida Senate race
- Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio was able to fend off a challenge from Democratic Representative Val Demings for his Senate seat
- Demings was attempting to unseat Rubio and turn a Florida Senate seat blue
- Rubio was ahead of Demings by 1 million votes about an hour after most polls closed in the Sunshine State
About an hour after the polls closed, the Florida incumbent senator was ahead by a landslide and projected the winner by the Associated Press, CNN and Fox News.
With nearly 90 percent of the vote reported before 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening, Rubio was ahead of Demings by around 1 million votes, or 15 percent.
A swing state, Florida has become increasingly red in the last few years – but Demings said it was her mission to help flip the state blue.
Rubio consistently polled ahead of Demings by around 10 percent throughout the campaign.
The predicted 2022 midterm red tsunami hit Florida hard as Rubio’s projected reelection victory came shortly after incumbent GOP Governor Ron DeSantis was also projected to be the winner in his race against Republican-turned-Democrat former Governor Charlie Crist.
Senator Marco Rubio was able to fend off a challenge from Democratic Representative Val Demings’ attempt to unseat him and turn a Florida Senate seat blue. Pictured: Rubio delivered short remarks as he pulled ahead of Demings by 15 points with nearly 90 percent of the vote reporting two hours after polls closed
Demings was elected to the U.S. House in the 2016 elections to represent Florida’s 11th congressional district – she opted not to run for reelection and instead seek higher office in the Senate. Pictured: Representative Demings speaks to supporters at a rally Monday, November 7 in Wilton Manors, Florida
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With a 50-50 split Senate, Republicans can’t afford to lose any seats – and need to pick up one more – if they want to win a majority in the upper chamber.
In the House, Republicans need to flip at least five seats to win a majority in the lower chamber. Florida earned Republicans their first House flip Tuesday evening when seventh district GOP candidate Cory Mills won the race to replace retiring Democratic Representative Stephanie Murphy.
The race between Demings and Rubio was never really considered close or one of the ones to watch, with Cook Political Report labeling the state’s Senate race as ‘likely Republican’. But Demings made a formidable competitor in a state that went red for Donald Trump by 3.3 percent in 2020.
In a concession speech Tuesday evening from Orlando, Demings brought her family on stage and said: ‘Things did not quite turn out the way we had hoped. But that’s alright.’
Demings said she made a congratulatory phone call to Rubio and asked him to ‘please continue to work hard for the place we call home: Florida.’
‘I am not tired, I am not weary and when I look around and see your faces, I am not defeated,’ the Florida congresswoman said.
Demings was the chief of the Orlando Police Department from 2007-2011 and in the 2016 elections became a congresswoman for Florida’s 11th congressional district. She decided not to run for reelection to her seat in this year’s midterms, instead vying for a spot in the Senate.
The Senate is currently split 50-50, meaning that if Republicans can hold their seats and earn just one more, they could earn the majority in the upper chamber
In the 2020 presidential election, Demings was on the short-list to be President Joe Biden’s running mate – along with Susan Rice and eventual pick Kamala Harris.
Rubio has represented Florida in the U.S. Senate since 2011.
Before that, he was in the Florida House of Representatives starting in 2000 and was Speaker of the body from 2006-2008. He also ran for president in the 2016 Republican primaries.
In short remarks Tuesday evening, Rubio paid homage to his parents and said America is the only country where the son of Cuban immigrants and blue collar workers could ascend – and remain – in the U.S. Senate.
Republicans need to flip five House seats to wing a majority in the lower chamber. But all projections and predictions are showing the red tsunami is not slowing as ballots are counted and results come in Tuesday evening