US Midterms: Rubio, Demings Clash in Florida Senate Debate

In Florida's Senate debate on Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Congresswoman Val Demings (D) carved out their positions on several hot-button topics, including gun restrictions and abortion.

US Midterms: Rubio, Demings Clash in Florida Senate Debate
Image credit: FOX

Facts

  • In Florida's Senate debate on Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Congresswoman Val Demings (D) carved out their positions on several hot-button topics, including gun restrictions and abortion.
  • On guns, Demings accused Rubio of doing “nothing to help address gun violence” and breaking promises he made to the families of victims of a 2018 mass shooting that left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida.
  • Rubio initially expressed support for laws that would tighten age restrictions and expand background checks for gun policies, but later changed his opinion — a move he defended in the debate, saying recent mass shootings reveal that gun control laws aren't the answer.
  • On abortion, the candidates found themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum: While Rubio didn't say whether he would vote for a federal ban, he did declare himself to be "a hundred percent pro-life." Demings, however, voiced her support for a woman’s right to choose up until the time of viability.
  • Rubio — a one-time presidential candidate — is seeking a third term in the Senate and has focused his campaign on crime and the economy. Meanwhile, Demings — elected to Congress in 2016 and a former police chief — has centered on abortion and climate change.
  • According to recent polls, Rubio is the favorite in this race, heading Demings 48% to 41%. The midterm election will be held on Nov. 8.

Sources: Washington Post, Newsweek, New York Times, and FOX News.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by The Washington Post. Despite being at a disadvantage by running in ever-redder Florida, Demings is within striking distance in this race. Rubio, a career politician stuck on reelection autopilot, has nothing to offer other than flimsy policies and empty promises he can't — or won't — act on. With her background and stable ideas, Demings may be the change that Florida needs.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by Townhall. There's nothing stable about Demings' ideas, as highlighted by her extreme position on abortion, which would allow for an exception late into a mother’s term – a view supported by just a minority of Americans. The Democrat proved she lacks substance and resorted to personal attacks in an attempt to gain favor — a cheap tactic that will unmistakably backfire.