Val Demings steps up fundraising as Marco Rubio continues slower pace

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Heading into August, Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Val Demings has accelerated her campaign fundraising, while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign is showing continued signs of a slower pace in the money chase.

Demings’ campaign reported raising $4.7 million in the 34-day period since the second quarter report.

That pushed her campaign’s total raised toward the General Election in November to more than $46 million by Aug. 3.

Rubio and Demings had been neck-and-neck in fundraising through the first quarter of this year. But Rubio’s campaign posted a lax second quarter report. That was followed by a soft mid-summer effort, raising $1.9 million in the period between July 1 and Aug. 3, according to the pre-Primary reports posted by the Federal Election Commission.

The latest report pushes his campaign’s total raised toward the General Election to just $38 million.

Then again, Demings spent a fortune in July — $7.5 million — mostly on a barrage of statewide television ads. That rate is going to require continued robust fundraising through the fall, as she held just $8.8 million in the bank on Aug. 3

Rubio, meanwhile, has yet to turn on the spending full force. His campaign also has launched statewide TV commercials, though not nearly as extensively as Demings. His campaign spent $1.5 million in July and he was holding $15 million on Aug. 3.

The pre-Primary reports are required even though Rubio is not in a Primary Election and Demings faces only nominal opposition in the Democratic Primary Election.

Demings has been outpacing Rubio in fundraising ever since she entered the contest in early 2021. Through March, though, Rubio’s early start had provided a campaign money cushion that held up through the first quarter of this year. On April 1, both campaigns had raised about $31 million, with Rubio just slightly ahead. In April, May and June, the Demings campaign overtook Rubio’s when it added another $12 million in fresh contributions, while Rubio’s campaign pocketed just $4.3 million in new money.

The pre-Primary report shows the trends continuing.

If the latest reports’ receipts, covering one month, were projected out over a full quarter, it would amount to a $12.7 million quarterly pace for Demings, and a $5.2 million quarterly pace for Rubio.

Democrats jumped at the news.

“Not only is Marco Rubio failing to show up for his job in the Senate, he’s failing to show up on the campaign trail. After getting out-raised every quarter for over a year, Rubio’s campaign is still struggling. It’s clear that Floridians are fed up with Marco Rubio’s record of caving to special interests and refusing to do his job,” Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Grant Fox said in a statement.

In the pre-Primary report, Demings’ campaign reported it picked up $2.3 million in individual contributions large enough to require them to be itemized by name, and another $2.5 million in individual donations small enough that the donors could remain anonymous.

She also picked up $45,500 from political action committees. That included $10,000 from the IMPACT, the leadership PAC of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York; and $5,000 apiece from the Transportation Workers Union, Stand Up for Workers, Follow the North Star, AFSCME, AmeriPAC, and the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League.

Rubio drew $1.2 million in itemized donations and $640,000 in small donations.

He received $92,000 in PAC money including $10,000 from Full House PAC, and $5,0000 apiece from NexStar Broadcasting Group, No Labels Problem Solvers, Alzheimer’s Impact, Steer PAC, Bringing America Together, National Multi Housing Council, and several others.

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