- Rep. Val Demings on Tuesday won the Democrat Senate primary with ease, gaining more than 85 percent of the vote at the time of this writing
- Demings will go on to challenge the incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio in the general election
- Eyebrows were raised when Demings out-fundraised and outspent Rubio
- Despite the financial advantage, most polls favor Rubio to win re-election
Rep. Val Demings on Tuesday night was declared the winner of the Democrat Senate primary, amassing more than 85 percent of the vote as of 8:00 P.M. The former Orlando police chief beat out party mates Brian Rush, William Sanchez, and Ricardo De La Fuente.
Demings is now set to face incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who has served as one of Florida’s two senators since 2011. Demings surprised politicos en route to raising more than $48 million dollars, exceeding both expectations and the dollar amount fundraised by Rubio.
“We thank you. We don’t take your vote or your support for granted,” said Demings upon her victory. “I stand before you as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.”
Despite outspending Rubio in media ad plays in excess of a two-to-one ratio, most polls favor the incumbent. Center Street PAC in two separate polls, pegs Rubio with an eleven and seven-point lead, respectively.
Rep. Demings is a strong supporter of climate action and environmental justice, and has worked to protect the Everglades from drilling and strengthen solar energy infrastructure in Florida. #LCVAF is proud to support her for #FLSen in November. pic.twitter.com/Ue8W2CWZT5
— LCV – League of Conservation Voters 🌎 (@LCVoters) August 24, 2022
A University of North Florida Pubic Opinion poll, however, shows Demings holding a four-point lead. Though the poll is rated as ‘mostly accurate,’ its recent poll showing a lead for gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried (who lost to Rep. Charlie Crist in a blowout) may call the pollster’s credibility into question.
“We’re not looking behind us. Tonight we’re looking forward,” said Demings in her victory speech. “We’ll have an opportunity to succeed in a country that we say is the greatest country in the world. I believe of that America, an America that will come together regardless of who we are, the party that we are in, or where we live.”
Demings has represented Florida’s 10th Congressional District in Congress since 2017. Demings served on both the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform while in Congress.
In 2020, Demings was selected as one of seven impeachment managers for the Senate’s investigation of President Donald Trump.