As Marco Rubio looks to recover from a disappointing performance in New Hampshire, the race to replace him in the Senate continues to unravel into one of the most unwieldy on the competitive map. While it’s clear Rubio will be happy to leave the Senate behind, his exit put a seat in a presidential battleground in jeopardy and could help Democrats net enough for a majority in the next Congress.
— The seat is as close to a must-win as Democrats have in the party’s quest to regain the majority after losing it in 2014. Needing at least four seats to win control, or five if Republicans win the White House, we ranked Florida fourth in our latest rankings of the 10 seats most likely to flip party control. There have been developments on both sides this week in one of the only races with primaries in both parties.
— The New York Times reported Thursday it uncovered emails and marketing documents showing Rep. Alan Grayson (D) had highlighted his status as a member of Congress to entice potential investors in his hedge fund, something the congressman disputed in an interview with the Times. But an email last year from his now former campaign manager showed his top advisers pleaded with him to close his hedge fund, worried it would make the “progressive crusader,” as he’s called in his first TV ad, look like a hypocrite. While that story should help the DSCC’s endorsed candidate, Rep. Patrick Murphy, the Republican field continues to grow.
— Carlos Beruff, a wealthy homebuilder closely connected to Gov. Rick Scott, is likely to enter the race against Scott’s lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera. The primary also includes two members of Congress, Freedom Caucus founding member Ron DeSantis and David Jolly, and defense contractor Todd Wilcox. The latest entrant is already making waves, as Republicans attempt to tie him to former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now running for Congress as a Democrat, and Democrats try to cut into his outsider profile.
Rubio could still have an outsized role in this race and the fight for Senate control. Thanks to fewer ticket-splitting voters, a Republican winning the White House in November would likely preserve the Senate majority for the GOP.
— Kyle Trygstad