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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Are Marco Rubio's chances of re-election improving?



For the second time in a month, a national political analyst has upgraded Sen. Marco Rubio’s chances at winning re-election in the fall.

On Thursday, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball changed Florida’s U.S. Senate race from being a pure toss up to being a seat that leans in Rubio’s favor. Sabato said a big reason for the change is due to Rubio not being dragged down by Donald Trump, who has been doing worse in polls in Florida than Rubio. In fact, while Trump trails in most public polling in Florida, Rubio has held a narrow lead over Democrat Patrick Murphy.

“Rubio is faring better than Trump and has a roughly five-point polling edge over Murphy,” Sabato wrote.

But don’t think Democrats are going to walk away from the race, Sabato said. If the race remains close, Democrats will want a chance to win Florida and damage Rubio’s chances of running for president in 2020.

Even with Florida being shifted toward slightly favoring Rubio, Sabato said the national landscape "looks like an ideal situation for a Democratic Senate takeover."

Sabato’s rating change comes about a month after Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales report took a similar position on Rubio. In early August, he moved Florida’s Senate race from the toss-up category to a race that leans in Rubio’s favor.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 1, 2016 5:14pm]


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