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Tipsheet

As Expected, Val Demings Will Face Sen. Marco Rubio in November

Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP

It's now official: Rep. Val Demings won the Florida Democratic primary on Tuesday night to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, come the fast-approaching November midterm elections. The race was called 8:00pm. With an estimated 84 percent of the vote in, Demings has 85.32 percent. The second place finisher, Brian Rush, trails far behind with 5.82 percent. 

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In a statement about Demings' win, Elizabeth Gregory, the communications director for Marco Rubio for Senate, said that "Marco Rubio has consistently delivered huge wins for Florida families, working across the aisle to improve the lives of people throughout the state. Meanwhile, Pelosi Puppet Val Demings votes for Joe Biden’s failing agenda 100% of the time and would be a rubber stamp for Democrats’ radical agenda in the Senate. Demings is desperately hoping Floridians will look past her record in Washington but this November, Floridians will remember that while Marco delivers results, Val Demings is just another radical rubber stamp."

Pollsters had already begun asking Floridians whether they prefer her or Rubio ahead of the primary. One from the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab found that Demings led Rubio by 48 percent to his 44 percent. It was conducted online via email from August 8-12, with 1,624 registered Florida voters and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. 

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Sen. Rubio dismissed that poll, saying "we should have learned our lesson not to listen to the polls," and that he doesn't listen to them. "So I just don’t pay attention to those things, particularly the North Florida poll, which was an email poll. They emailed people," he emphasized. 

That poll may very likely be an outlier, as another poll, done by the Center Street PAC, found Rubio leading with likely Florida voters by 52 percent to Demings' 41 percent support. That poll was conducted online from August 12-14, with 996 registered voters, including 610 likely voters, with a margin of error of 3 points for likely voters. Such a lead is an increase for Rubio from when the poll was also conducted in July. 

The University of North Florida poll results are also suspect in that it showed Nikki Fried ahead of Charlie Crist in the Florida gubernatorial Democratic primary, with 47 percent to his 43 percent of support. Crist ultimately won his race, as he was largely expected to. With an estimated 89 percent of the vote in, he won with 60.19 percent to Fried's 35.05 percent. 

Over recent months, Townhall has covered Demings' liberal extremism. Earlier this month, her private security roughed up a political tracker. Police are investigating the assault against the tracker, which Demings' staff justified. 

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In another incident with a tracker who had been asking about gas prices in June, Demings ignored him and instead recited Bible verses, including Psalm 37, "fret not thyself because of evil doers, for they shall soon be cut off and shall wither like the grass."

Not only is Demings particularly pro-abortion, which she used the Dobbs leaked and ultimately official opinion to remind voters of, but she doubled down on her dismissiveness about the unprecedented leak. 

Despite her publicly calling out President Joe Biden for his shifting stances on relations with Cuba in May, Rep. Demings held a fundraiser with the Foreign Policy for America Action Network, mere days later. The organization has applauded Biden appeasement of the Castro/Diaz-Canel dictatorship.

In July of last year, around the time she announced her Senate bid, Rep. Demings was among eight members calling for the closure of the Glades County Detention Center, a local immigration detention center in Moore Haven, Florida. 

Demings' radical positions did not suddenly become apparent with her seeking to replace Rubio. She was once considered as a potential vice presidential candidate for President Joe Biden, though was ultimately passed over in favor of then Sen. Kamala Harris, who had a particularly poor performance as a presidential candidate in the Democratic primary. 

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Demings, who herself was an Orlando police chief, had communicated support for defunding the police officials and policies. In June 2020, she called a proposal from the Minneapolis City Council to dismantle the police "very thoughtful." 

More recently, Demings was initially going to campaign last month with pro-defund the police State Rep. Anna Eskamani, but ended up not doing so at the last minute. Eskamani had led calls to "demilitarize" and "divest" Orlando's police department, where Demings once served as chief of police. 

Rep. Demings also served as an impeachment manager for Trump's first impeachment trial. 

The race is considered to favor Sen. Rubio, as Cook Political Report ranks it as "Lean Republican," while Sabato's Crystal Ball and Inside Elections consider it to be "Likely Republican."

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