Democrats in big trouble in Florida Senate race

Republicans are trying to end the Florida Senate race before it even begins.

In one dramatic day this month, the entire race — one of roughly a half-dozen on which control of the Senate rests — was turned on its head. First, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio dropped his retirement plans and announced plans to run for reelection. Within hours, the CBS affiliate in Miami aired a bombshell investigative story accusing the Democratic establishment's chosen candidate, 33-year-old Rep. Patrick Murphy, of rampant résumé inflation.
Now, Republicans smell blood in the water, and they're looking to damage Murphy so badly that Democrats are forced to spend heavily on his behalf ahead of the state's Aug. 30 primary — or abandon the race altogether. The GOP is adopting a strategy that's been used against it repeatedly in recent election cycles: Propping up a politically toxic, outside-the-mainstream candidate in the other party's primary, in this case firebrand liberal Rep. Alan Grayson.

"I think anybody would rather run against Grayson” in the general election, said Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, a vice chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The reversal of fortunes in Florida could hardly have come at a better time for Republicans, after weeks of negative headlines about their presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, and increasing concerns about a down-ballot disaster for the party. If Republicans can put the Sunshine State race out of reach, it would substantially boost their hopes of retaining the Senate. The party is clinging to a four-seat advantage, but faces an electoral map tilted decidedly in Democrats' favor.
Even many Democrats don't like Grayson who they have been criticizing for running an offshore hedge fund.  Harry Reid has been especially critical of his candidacy.  This could also effect Hillary Clinton's prospects in the state.


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