Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHouse passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China Republicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' MORE (R-Fla.) ramped up his fundraising pace in the third quarter of the year, bringing in $6 million as he gears up for his 2022 reelection bid.
The $6 million haul is an improvement over the roughly $4 million he raised in the second quarter when his main Democratic rival, Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsTwo senior House Democrats to retire Democratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse Tim Scott takes in .3 million in third quarter MORE (D-Fla.), beat him out by nearly $700,000. He’s now slated to enter the last stretch of 2021 with about $9.6 million in cash on hand.
So far this year, Rubio has raised nearly $12 million for his reelection bid. His latest fundraising total was first reported by Fox News.
Rubio’s Senate seat is among a handful that Democrats are hoping to flip next year in their bid to keep and or expand their razor-thin majority in the upper chamber. While the party’s nominating contest is still in its infancy, Demings has emerged as the early favorite to challenge Rubio in 2022.
Despite its reputation as a perennial battleground, however, Florida has proven an elusive target for Democrats in recent years. The 2018 midterm elections saw Democrats lose their hold on one of the state’s Senate seats, while simultaneously falling in the governor’s race to now-Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisBiden, Trump tied in potential 2024 match-up: poll Nearly 80 percent of Republicans want to see Trump run in 2024: poll Miami private school orders vaccinated students to stay at home for 30 days as 'precautionary measure' MORE (R).
Things have only gotten more difficult from there. Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE carried Florida for a second time in 2020, beating President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE there by a more than 3-point margin — a relative landslide by Sunshine State standards.
But Florida remains far from a shoe-in for Republicans. For one thing, it’s astonishingly expensive to run a statewide campaign there, given its 10 media markets, vast size and large, diverse population. And Demings has proven to be a formidable fundraiser in her own right.