WEST PARK, Fla. – As the fight for one of Florida’s Senate seats heats up, Local 10 News is getting a clearer picture of just how much money each candidate has in their war chest and where that cash is coming from.
Even before initially clinching the nomination, Democrat Val Demings’ cash haul seemed eye-popping. Her Republican challenger, Sen. Marco Rubio, telegraphed as much in TV interviews.
“We are being outraised by these far-left Marxists who continue to give her, you know, 50 bucks a month or whatever a week,” Rubio said in a recent interview on Fox News.
In the most recent fundraising cycle, Rubio took in $36 million. Demings raised $48 million. But that snapshot does not give the big picture.
Despite Rubio’s recent fundraising appeals and the recent tallies, his campaign’s cash on hand is almost double Demings’. Where it comes from tells a story.
Both receive donations from individuals and from political action committees, but Demings has more than twice Rubio’s number of those smaller grassroots contributions.
Rubio spent more than $1 million in television ad airtime this week. Demings’ ad is on repeat in many markets, helping her name recognition statewide, which does not yet match Rubio’s.
A new poll does give Demings a bit of a lead over Rubio, but it remains an outlier.
It was conducted by the University of North Florida, which was an outlier poll showing good results for Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, who ended up losing to Rep. Charlie Crist by more than 20 points on primary night.
Other polls, so far, give Rubio the lead and show him on track for a third term in the U.S. Senate.