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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Dems stop spending to oust Rubio in Florida, as path to Senate takeover gets rockier

    Dems stop spending to oust Rubio in Florida, as path to Senate takeover gets rockier

    Published October 01, 2016

    Washington Democrats’ strong bid to take control of the Senate by defeating several Republican incumbents is showing signs of struggling in the final weeks of the election cycle.

    In Florida, Democrats targeted first-term GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, considering his failed effort to fix the country’s problematic immigration system and him frequently abandoning Capitol Hill responsibilities to run for president made him unpopular among voters.

    But with less than six weeks before Election Day, Rubio is maintaining a roughly 6-percentage-point lead. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is cutting back a planned advertising blitz in Florida, which includes canceling ads into early October.

    The group, whose primary goal is to keep and win Senate seats, says it stands behind candidate Patrick Murphy. However, such a move late in the election cycle usually means a change in strategy in which such groups reallocate remaining money to states where TV advertising costs far less and they have better chances in November.

    Democrats must win a net total of four or five seats to retake control of the Senate.

    At the start of start of the cycle, Democrats targeted the seat occupied by Rubio as well as those of GOP incumbents Sens. Rob Portman, Ohio; Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire; Ron Johnson, Wisconsin; and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania -- all battleground states where they had hoped, at the very least, Republican president nominee Donald Trump’s sometimes divisive campaign would help their cause.

    Predictions Map
    See the Fox News 2016 battleground prediction map and make your own election projections.See Predictions Map →

    However, Ohio, a so-called “rust belt” state with a large number of older, white middle-class voters seems poised to swing Republican on November 8, with Trump doing well against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and Portman now pulling away.

    Portman leads Democratic challenger, former House member and Gov. Ted Strickland, by 13 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics’ polls average.

    “We’re very proud of the robust organization we’ve built over the past two years across all of Ohio’s 88 counties," Portman campaign manager Corry Bliss recently told The Wall Street Journal, while also highlighting outreach efforts to Hispanic and black voters, challenging voting blocs for Republican candidates.

    In New Hampshire, Ayotte, a first-term senator, is clinging to a 2.5 percentage point lead over Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan.

    And in Pennsylvania, which has voted for the Democratic nominee in the past six presidential elections, Toomey is in a dead heat with Democratic challenger Katie McGinty.

    In Indiana, former Democratic senator and Gov. Evan Bayh is having a harder-than-anticipated time trying to win the open Senate seat held by Republican Dan Coats, amid reports about recent years working as a consultant at a Washington lobbying firm, as reported earlier this week by The New York Times.

    The popular Bayh purportedly also entered the race with $10 million to spend, but attack ads by outside conservative groups have in recent weeks essentially cut in half his double-digit lead over GOP Rep. Todd Young.

    “Different states, same bad headlines,” the Natioanl Republican Senatorial Committee, the DSCC’s counterpart, said after several stories earlier this year on the race.

    Still, in Wisconsin, former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold is nearly 10 percentage points ahead in his bid to unseat GOP incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson.

    The RCP average now has Democrats winning a net total of four seats.

    Bayh isn’t the only Democratic candidate getting hammered by ads from outside conservative groups, including several that have clearly stated their intentions of trying to save the Senate for Republicans instead of backing Trump.

    In Florida, Rubio and outside Republican groups have recently outspent the lesser-known Murphy and Washington Democrats more than 3-to-1 with ads blasting Murphy for embellishing his resume, calling him "untrustworthy."

    Murphy said he's not worried, confident of overcoming the ad onslaught though he trails in polls and many Florida voters have barely heard of him.

    Republicans for Rubio are hitting Murphy for overstating claims on his resume to be a certified public accountant, small business owner and a college graduate with two degrees.

    Murphy was a licensed CPA in Colorado but not Florida, where he worked for an accounting firm. He was part-owner of a business established by his wealthy father, and though a double major at the University of Miami, he earned just one degree.

    Murphy has received help from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Senate Majority PAC, but those advertising buys have been dwarfed by outside Republican groups.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    $30 million spent on ads in Rubio’s, Murphy’s Senate fight in Florida

    By John Kennedy - Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
    Posted: 8:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016

    TALLAHASSEE — The message is there – repeatedly — on TV and radio. In English and Spanish.

    Now there’s even a billboard on the Palmetto Expressway that ties Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to Donald Trump, put up last week by supporters of Democratic rival Patrick Murphy.

    But Rubio and his allies are counterpunching with their own barrage of TV spots, steadily questioning the resume and readiness of Murphy, a two-term congressman from Jupiter.

    In Florida’s nationally watched Senate race, Rubio, Murphy and outside groups have spent almost $30 million, mostly on TV, radio, mailers and digital ads. The bulk is negative and designed to inflict damage on the opponent as the race veers into its final month.

    Murphy, though, is facing an increasingly uphill fight trying to unseat Rubio, who is building a comfortable edge in most polls, in contrast with the presidential contest, which remains a toss-up in the nation’s biggest swing state.

    A billboard on Palmetto Expressway paid for by a group including Florida’s Voice, an immigration advocacy organization, links Republicans Donald Trump ... Read More

    Close to half the money in the Senate race — $14.6 million – has been spent against Murphy by groups supporting Rubio, according to finance data compiled by the site ProPublica. Rubio has been helped by the Senate Leadership Fund’s almost $6 million in advertising, followed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee,National Rifle Association and Koch brothers-backed Libre Initiative and Concerned Veterans for America.

    Outside organizations haven’t ponied up anywhere nearly as much for Murphy, who has had only about $5 million spent by the Senate Majority PAC and unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, delayed Murphy ads scheduled for last week until October, which Republicans are quick to call a bad sign for the challenger.

    Still, even with Trump effectively tied with Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Sunshine State, Murphy’s camp adheres to the idea that pairing the Republicans will ultimately prove toxic to Rubio.

    Democrats seized on a Newsweek story last week about a Trump-owned company that allegedly violated the United States trade embargo with Cuba in the late 1990s.

    “The meek excuses from Marco Rubio and Florida Republican leaders must come to an end,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant. “Donald Trump is dangerously unqualified to be president and his foreign business interests pose unprecedented conflicts of interest.”

    Rubio, who endorsed Trump but steers clear of him during appearances in Florida, acknowledged the report was “troubling.” But Rubio said he wanted to hear more from the nominee, who told a TV station he “never did business in Cuba.”

    A Rubio spokeswoman, Olivia Perez-Cubas, also downplayed Murphy’s attempts to make Trump a political albatross for the Republican senator seeking re-election to the seat he won in 2010.

    “Marco is running his own campaign,” she said. “We’re building our own get-out-the-vote operation and are thankful for the help of thousands of volunteers.

    “We believe Marco will win re-election because he has been there for Florida, while Patrick Murphy has done nothing in Congress,” she said.

    Like many Republican candidates across the country, Rubio has tried to say little about Trump – although he continues to stand by his endorsement.

    “With Donald Trump and Marco Rubio sharing the same dangerous and reckless agenda, we have no doubt that voters will reject them at the ballot box this November,” said Galia Slayen, a Murphy spokeswoman.

    Trump’s hardline approach to immigration, which included calling many undocumented immigrants from Mexico “killers and rapists,” is quoted on the Palmetto Expressway billboard near Rubio’s office.

    The campaign buy is from a coalition of Murphy backers, including Florida’s Voice, an immigration advocacy organization. The sign includes the hashtag #MarcoTrumpo.

    Murphy, who last week bought ads on Spanish-language TV and radio and recently brought on a Hispanic outreach director, is trying to weaken Rubio’s bond with a community that represents close to one-in-five Florida voters.

    Murphy’s camp says it expects to win the Hispanic vote in Florida – and the Trump connection will be a factor.

    Ads aired earlier that repeated Rubio’s portrayal of Trump as a “con artist” are expected to return soon to Florida airwaves, Murphy backers said.

    The bilingual Rubio has had three Spanish-language TV ads up and dismisses Murphy’s effort as too little, too late.

    “Murphy had to hire a special consultant just 47 days out from the election to tell him what Hispanics care about, making it clear his ineffectiveness extends to the Hispanic community as well,” Perez-Cubas said.

    While polls show Rubio is a familiar figure to most Florida voters, Murphy remains unknown to a sizable number. Rubio TV spots have tried to take advantage of that, by seeking to define Murphy to voters just getting to know him.

    A new ad aired last week by the NRA across conservative North Florida hits Murphy for siding with Clinton over the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

    But most have focused on media reports alleging he has inflated his background as a certified public accountant and small businessman.

    “Patrick Murphy has accomplished nothing in the last four years, and has been repeatedly caught lying about his resume to hide that fact,” Perez-Cubas said.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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