The debate marked one of Murphy’s highest-profile chances to take on Rubio. Most polls have shown the incumbent with a modest edge, usually inside the margin of error, though one released Wednesday by Bloomberg Politics showed Rubio with a hefty 10-point lead.
Rubio leads by a margin of 49 percent to 47 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll, which was conducted before the candidates battled in a televised debate Monday night. The two-point difference is within the poll’s margin of error.
Rubio is running again for a Senate seat that he was ready to vacate, a seat some critics say he had already vacated, a seat that at times seems almost as much like a form of captivity for Rubio as it does a prize.
Patrick Murphy is a centrist backed by the White House, and Alan Grayson is a longtime darling of Bernie Sanders-style progressives loathed by the party establishment. Three other Democratic candidates are also in the running.
The closeness of the race could be linked to recent struggles of controversial Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — with the presidential race having an effect down the ballot.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll released Friday showed Clinton leading Trump by a margin of 44 percent to 37 percent in a head-to-head matchup in Florida, one of the most closely watched states in the country.
DeSantis is one of three Republicans who have qualified to run for the district that includes all of Flagler County, and which he’s represented since 2013. Four Democrats have qualified.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has reversed course and will seek re-election to his seat, according to numerous media reports Wednesday morning. Rubio’s decision comes as Republicans try to maintain control of the U.S. Senate.
Murphy, a two-term congressman who was the beneficiary of a fundraising event Friday in Miami that featured President Barack Obama, remains unknown to many Floridians as do the other major Senate candidates from both parties.
McConnell’s comments on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” came after reports during the past week that Rubio is being pressured to run for re-election this fall.