Incumbent Marco Rubio (R), Val Demings (D), and seven other candidates are running in the general election for U.S. Senate in Florida on November 8, 2022.
The Hill‘s Caroline Vakil said, “Florida’s Senate race is considered one of the most competitive this November.” In 2018, the last U.S. Senate race in the state before this one, Rick Scott (R) defeated incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) by 0.2 percentage points. In 2016, incumbent Marco Rubio won re-election by a margin of 7.7 percentage points.
Rubio was first elected to the Senate in 2010 to replace retiring incumbent Mel Martinez (R). In the general election, Rubio defeated Kendrick B. Meek (D) and Gov. Charlie Crist (I). Rubio was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, serving as majority leader from 2003 to 2006 and House speaker from 2006 to 2008. Rubio has emphasized his Senate career; according to his campaign website, “As a U.S. Senator, Marco has advanced commonsense, conservative ideas that address the issues Americans face.”
Demings has represented Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House since 2017. During her time in Congress, Demings has served on the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to her time in office, Demings worked in law enforcement for nearly three decades. From 2007 to 2012, she served as the chief of police in Orlando, Florida. Demings said she is “running for U.S. Senate to fight for every Floridian to have that same opportunity to live the American Dream.”
Dennis Misigoy (L), Steven B. Grant, Tuan Nguyen, Uloma Ekpete, Edward A. Gray, Howard Knepper, and Moses Quiles are also running
The two most recent presidential elections in Florida were both decided by less than 4 percentage points. Incumbent President Donald Trump (R) won the state over Joe Biden (D) by 3.3 percentage points in 2020. Trump won the state over Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016 by 1.2 percentage points.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. Thirty-five of 100 seats are up for election, including one special election. Democrats have an effective majority, with the chamber split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) having the tie-breaking vote. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 21 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022.