Trailing in polls, Val Demings still has more campaign money to spend than Marco Rubio

Can a cash edge of almost $1M help the Democrat make up ground?

Democratic Senate candidate Val Demings may still trail U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in the polls, but she enters the final stretch of the campaign with more money to spend in the dash to Nov. 8.

Through Oct. 19, Demings held $4,920,051 in cash on hand. That was after raising more than $73 million in total in her bid to unseat the two-term incumbent.

Rubio, meanwhile, put together a little under $47 million over the course of the campaign. Through the last reporting period, the Miami Republican had $4,101,669 left in the bank.

That said, most political observers still consider Rubio the favorite headed toward Election Day. The RealClearPolitics polling index finds Rubio ahead by 8 percentage points on average. And the last two public polls, from Data for Progress and the University of North Florida, both found his polling above 50% despite spending most of the election cycle in polls winning but short of majority support.

Of note, UNF is the only pollster still in the index to have ever found Demings in the lead. The Jacksonville university found her 4 points up in early August, but pollsters there now see Rubio winning the race by double digits.

It’s not for lack of spending on Demings’ part. Her campaign has reported $65,264,299 in expenditures through the last reporting period. The vast majority of her money has gone toward media buys and production. She’s also given plenty to the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida, more than $1 million in a couple of major payments in late August and early September.

She’s also seen outside help, with PACs spending $485,481 supporting her Senate candidacy, most of that courtesy the Service Employees International Union, which dropped $358,967 on her behalf. Another $392,858 was spent by groups opposing Rubio, including by Unidos US Action, Retire Him and MoveOn.

But other committees have spent $1,918,396 opposing Demings’ candidacy, primarily the Florida First Project, which dumped $1,866,571 slamming the Democrat. Additionally, $1,445,891 was spent by PACs backing Rubio, with the Florida First Project again leading the way with $822,560 in positive marketing.

On his own, the incumbent pulled in $43,825,801 in total contributions over the course of the race. He spent almost all of that, $42,653,201, on operating expenditures for the race, well before the final run of the race. He has bought millions in media buys and on digital efforts.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Tom

    October 31, 2022 at 8:22 am

    Vote for VAL DEMINGS!!!!

    • eva

      October 31, 2022 at 5:53 pm

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  • Tom

    October 31, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Tom Legend here.
    Dum Dumings illegal China money suppressed Marco below 50%, now he’s surpassed it.

    All good for Marco. 55% win.

  • Arizona sunset

    October 31, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    Demmings is toast. The difference is already 11 points. Marco Rubio easily destroyed her. Good bye beautiful grandma.

    • Mike

      November 2, 2022 at 6:33 am

      I really wish that these political figures would be fair and STOP allowing all of the illegal Cubans from popping up on our shores. Cuban people are worse in character in the united States than they were in Cuba. Its discrasefull and distasteful. Cuban people are also very racist. Cubans are very disrespectful towards central Americans and mexicans also. My thing is that us Americans have paved the way for these poor individuals and they pay us back with greed, disrespect, racism, fraudulent activity, and no respect to at least learn our language. What a shame. What Ii have to say is STOP ALLOWING THESE FILTHY CUBANS ON OUR SHORES…

  • Robert Pizzolongo

    October 31, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    I was fortunate to not only be invited to a Governor Desantis press conference but be invited to speak for some time.I am trying to start a Draft Governor Desantis for President in 2024 movement.I am trying to get help from the media.Ron Desantis is the only one that can stop the bleeding the Biden administration has caused.What I like to see is the phenomenal Congressman Byron Donald’s become the next Governor of Florida.Byron Donald’s will be just as great as Ron Desantis is.Help me fulfill both my dreams.Spread the word in the local and national media.Thank you,Robert Pizzolongo of Cape Coral.

  • Amy

    November 2, 2022 at 11:08 am

    Speaking of wealth redistribution, Val should share her largesse with Charlie, who is nearly out of money; for it would be the progressive thing to do.
    What would Karl Marx or Fidel Castro do? Democratic donors, big and small, are abandoning the latter.

Comments are closed.


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