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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Murphy hopes fallout from Trump tape will help him overtake Rubio

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter

Richard Graulich / AP/The Palm Beach Post

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter

15

October

Ten days ago, Democrat Patrick Murphy’s chances to unseat Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate looked less and less likely.

Florida’s Senate race was — and still is — competitive, but after weeks of going head-to-head against the Republican incumbent, Murphy had failed to take the lead or even gain a measurable advantage on Rubio.

Then came the leaked footage of Donald Trump.

The 2005 “Access Hollywood” video showing the Republican presidential nominee boasting of kissing and groping women without their consent has thrust Rubio into defensive mode, causing him to minimize his public profile even as he reaffirms his endorsement of Trump.

READ MORE: Rubio stands by Trump after tape

This was the golden opportunity Murphy’s campaign has wanted to try to knock Rubio down a few pegs.

“We feel really confident that these comments from Trump and these accusations against him this week are going to be a lead weight on Rubio’s chances,” Murphy campaign spokesman Joshua Karp said Friday.

But political observers say it’s too soon to tell whether the Trump controversy will give Murphy enough to overtake Rubio in the final stretch of the campaign.

Several don’t expect it to.

More here.

[Last modified: Friday, October 14, 2016 6:20pm]

    

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