Editor’s Note: This post was written by Jake Holt, Kaitlin Urtz and Marissa Wade.

Senator Marco Rubio, the current Republican incumbent running in the competitive Florida Senate race, will be re-elected at the end of the general election on November 8th, 2016 over his Democratic competitor Patrick Murphy. Based on recent polling numbers that put Rubio approximately six points ahead of Murphy, we predict Rubio will win with 47% of the vote leaving Murphy with 40% of the vote and the rest going to Paul Stanton of the Libertarian Party and the three other third-party candidates on the ballot.

During his first term in the US Senate, Rubio had a positive impact. He was a member of the “Gang of Eight” which wrote the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, creating a citizenship path for all illegal aliens who currently reside within the United States. Moreover, the bill also gave a new and improved employment verification system for all workers to ensure work authorization. Furthermore, in 2011, Rubio voted against a Republican proposal which the Congressional Budget Office predicted would easily save the U.S. government up to $10 billion by stopping the continuous abuse of food stamps. As one of the few Republicans to oppose this bill, Rubio was a very important part of stopping this bill from passing.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and challenger Patrick Murphy shake hands at a debate.

In addition to the power of incumbency, the assistance of the media has been influential in boosting Rubio’s campaign. The Republican Party has been able to push their agenda that Murphy’s campaign is a fraud due to exaggerated credentials. As a result, the Democratic Party has been forced to spend much of its time and campaign money fighting these claims. Although Murphy has informed Florida residents that Rubio has poor voting records and is in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who is falling behind in Florida, Rubio continues to dominate in most polls.

Rubio will win this Senate race partly due to his familiarity within the Senate and partly due to the influx of money the Democratic Party has had to spend to combat the Republican claims against their candidate Murphy.

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