Marco Rubio is back.
Senator Rubio (R-Fla.) publicly announced his intention to run for reelection to the U.S. Senate this morning, saying that he’s “frustrated by what’s happening here in the Senate.” Though his approval numbers were driven down during the months of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, Rubio is still considered to be the front runner in both the Florida Republican Senate primary and the general election.
His presumptive Democratic opponent, Representative Patrick Murphy, said today that “Marco Rubio abandoned the people of Florida. Unlike Rubio, I love working hard every single day for the people of Florida.” This notion of abandonment plagued Rubio during the presidential primary, likely accounting for his loss in his home state’s primary, which precipitated his withdrawal from that race.
For their part, Republicans in Congress seem united behind Rubio, once again viewing him as a bright star and a likely sure-thing in retaining his Senate seat. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee admitted that he had been pressuring Rubio daily to reverse his original decision to not run for reelection, and Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, has been heard on talk radio and elsewhere for weeks expressing his hope and optimism that his colleague would stay the course and run for a second term. This campaign of peer pressure, coupled with support from his family, appears to be the source of Rubio changing his mind on the issue, as indicated by a tweet this morning:
This was a decision made not in DC, but back home in West Miami over Father’s Day weekend, w/ my wife & our 4 children.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 22, 2016
Some believe the decision may bring new life to Republican hopes of holding onto the Senate in November, though it remains to be seen which way Floridian favor will swing when it comes to their rocky relationship with their young Senator.
Kevin Dawson is Deputy Operations Manager for the American Principles Project.