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The general election contest Patrick Murphy faces now

This isn't the U.S. Senate campaign Patrick Murphy anticipated.

When he declared his candidacy in March 2015, the two-term Democratic congressman from Jupiter was poised to run for an open seat while Republican incumbent Marco Rubio sought the presidency.

Over the next 15 months, Murphy enjoyed the pole position in Florida's Senate race.

He was unofficially blessed as the Democratic establishment's pick to help the party win back control of the Senate.

Democratic figureheads and party loyalists showered him with endorsements and donations. He reliably led his primary opponents and consistently polled comfortably ahead in hypothetical matchups against five Republican hopefuls — each of whom failed to stand out in their own primary contest.

Entering this summer, Murphy had the potential to cap off a fierce primary battle with fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and then relatively coast through the general election to a seat in the U.S. Senate.

But Murphy's smooth ride was quickly upended.

More here.

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