U.S. Rep Val Demings has lost her bid to become a U.S. Senator in Florida after falling short to Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday.
NBC News projected the victory for Rubio and the Political Polls website reported that Demings lost by a margin of seven percentage points.
Demings came into Election Day trailing Rubio by about 10 percentage points in the most recent poll.
The two squared off in a debate last month during which the sitting Congresswoman more than held her own and vehemently rejected Republican-fueled claims that she — the former police chief in Orlando — was weak on crime and supported defunding the police.
Back in January, it was Demings who commanded a polling lead as she emerged as a trustworthy voice amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which Rubio downplayed despite Florida’s massive loss of life from the virus.
Demings — the Congresswoman who won the Democratic nomination — and Rubio, the incumbent Republican and former presidential candidate who has held this seat in the U.S. Senate for more than a decade — couldn’t be on more solar sides of the political spectrum.
Rubio’s tactic — much like most of the rest of the Republican Party whose members are up for election this year — has seemed to be to fearmonger on crime and try to associate his opponent with Joe Biden and the president’s policies.
The rhetoric between the two candidates hasn’t nearly reached the side-show proportions of other high-profile races for U.S. Senate. But this race has featured its fair share of attacks, including and especially when Demings — the longtime U.S. Representative for Florida’s 10th Congressional District — declared her candidacy for U.S. Senate last year.
The video announcing Demings’ candidacy was apparently too much for Rubio to ignore. He responded with a tactless, hasty selfie video disingenuously reading from a teleprompter exactly one hour after Demings posted hers and unsuccessfully tried to depict her as a puppet for Democrats. But what really betrayed Rubio’s fear was when he decided to resort to name-calling.
“I’ve always known that my opponent for the Senate was going to be a far-left liberal Democrat,” Rubio started his video off by saying. “Today we just found out which one of them Chuck Schumer picked.”
He added unconvincingly: “I’m looking forward to this campaign.”
Rubio then called Demings a “do-nothing House member.”
Demings responded to Rubio’s video with the perfect tweet trolling him.