The Florida Democratic Party has a history of placing bets on safe moderates, so it's no surprise the party establishment has rallied around Rep. Patrick Murphy as their favored candidate to run for Marco Rubio's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat. The problem is that those safe moderates usually don't go on to win elections.
That's one reason the favored alternative of the progressive wing of the party is Rep. Alan Grayson, a staunch liberal with a history of making cutting comments that many fear may too be abrasive for a statewide election. Murphy has already announced his candidacy, and Grayson is widely expected to do the same.
Naturally, conservatives can't help but laugh at the situation and are now actively egging on the split.
The superconservative Club for Growth is now even paying for ads supporting Grayson.
The Club for Growth does actively oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and is running similar ads across the country, some even targeting Republicans, but the dynamics of this particular version of the ad are clear. The Club for Growth, it should be noted, has already endorsed Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis in the Senate race.
The Palm Beach Post points out that Vox Populi Polling, a Republican-aligned firm, is also running push polls to test possible attacks against Murphy. The poll asked Florida Democratic voters who they'd vote for in a primary. Originally, Murphy led 34 to 24, but then the pollster informed respondents that Murphy is a former Republican who donated to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign (they don't make clear it was his 2008 run, not his 2012 run) and highlighted other potentially problematic aspects of Murphy's voting record. Asked again for whom they'd vote, they turned the tables, and suddenly Grayson was leading 56 to 21.
The ad and poll underline a belief on the right that in a general election, Grayson would be easier to beat than Murphy, or at the very least, the right would not mind seeing Murphy endure a grueling primary campaign first.
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