A new report highlights a key contrast between Marco Rubio and Chief Val Demings. While Rubio supports extreme restrictions on Floridians’ freedom to make their own health care decisions, including abortion bans with no exceptions for victims of rape and incest, Chief Demings has long stood up for victims of crimes and defended women’s rights to reproductive health care.
“A career politician and failed presidential contender, Rubio is campaigning this year for a third term as Florida’s senior senator. And he’s running scared.”
“Rubio made an anguished appearance on Fox News on the day of Florida’s primaries to plead for campaign money.”
“But what’s really shaken Rubio are the poll numbers. A University of North Florida poll, conducted shortly before the primary, had Demings winning 48 percent support to 44 percent for Rubio. Other polls give Rubio the lead, but he’s generally polling under 50 percent—a danger signal for an incumbent—while the Democrat is steadily in the 40s and rising.”
“But Demings knew what she was getting into. She has run a smart, issue-focused campaign, highlighting her support for Social Security and Medicare, public education, and federal investment in infrastructure—a big concern in the rapidly growing state of Florida. On all those issues, she has sought to distinguish herself from the incumbent. And nowhere has she emphasized their differences more than on the issue of reproductive freedom”
“Commercials from the Demings campaign draw a clear line between her stance and Rubio’s anti-choice position. ‘Rubio supports forced pregnancy, even for victims of rape and incest,’ a late June ad declared. ‘He wrote the bill to criminalize doctors, including jail time. Even worse, Rubio voted to mandate unmarried women to publicize their sexual encounters.’”
“That last reference was to the state’s so-called ‘Scarlet Letter’ law, under which, Florida’s Democratic Party has noted, ‘single mothers who wanted to put their babies up for adoption had to purchase ads in their local newspaper detailing their recent sexual histories and partners in order to alert the father. The legislation had no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and even required girls under the age of 18 to comply.’”
“Rubio’s extreme social conservatism is not a good fit for Florida voters who are focusing in on the abortion issue. A July University of South Florida poll found that 57 percent of Floridians disagree with the Supreme Court decision to undermine abortion rights.”