Republican Sen. Marco Rubio beat Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida’s hotly contested Senate race Tuesday.
Neither side was willing to go home early. President Barack Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton stumped for Murphy early and often, but a strong Republican fundraising effort coupled with a sustained series of personal scandals kept Murphy from attaining a seat in the highest chamber in the nation.
Republicans for Rubio ponied up $21,951,478 in the race since Rubio announced his candidacy in June. Murphy only managed to raise $14,705,775, including a $1 million personal loan he took out just two weeks before the final election. Independent candidate Anton Khoury managed to raise $213,821 in the race.
Rubio went into election day with a strong lead, earning a 3.2 percent lead in the Real Clear polling average. The final poll in the race was published by Emerson University and returned a 7 percent lead for Rubio — who came in at 50 percent compared to only 43 percent for Murphy.
Rubio earned 72 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, barely breaking the million vote mark. Murphy won 58.9 percent in the Democratic primary, earning a much smaller 665,985 individual votes. Disgraced former Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson made a strong play for the nomination, earning 17.7 percent of the vote.
Murphy and Rubio participated in two debates, although Rubio suggested holding as many as five debates, including one that would have been aired on Univision. Murphy attacked Rubio’s dismal voting record, fueling fears that Rubio will simply abandon the post should a better office come along.
Rubio continued to air attacks regarding Murphy’s background, as well as an active FBI investigation into fundraising tactics, according to Ballotpedia.
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