Democratic divide in Florida: DeSantis challenger to rally with Biden, but Senate candidate won't

The differences between Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Senate hopeful Val Demings underscore Democrats’ approach-avoidance conflict on Biden.

MIAMI — President Joe Biden is coming to Florida next week to campaign with Charlie Crist as he tries to unseat Gov. Ron DeSantis in a battleground state that has increasingly become a Republican stronghold.

But Democratic Senate candidate Val Demings won’t be there Tuesday to meet the president in her hometown, Orlando.

The divergent whereabouts of the two candidates says as much about their respective campaigns as it does about Democrats' approach-or-avoid conflict with the president, whose approval ratings remain underwater as he nevertheless regains his popularity and starts hitting the campaign trail in the final weeks leading up to the Nov. 8 midterm election.

Democratic candidates across the country have either tiptoed around or embraced Biden, depending on their races. For months, there were obvious signs of strain between the White House and battleground Democrats: Biden sought to trumpet his legislative victories, but Democrats in close contests were still outperforming him in polls and either minimized their appearances with the president or avoided him outright.

In Florida, Crist has a tougher race on his hands than Demings. He trails DeSantis by a wider margin than Demings does in her matchup against Sen. Marco Rubio, recent polls show. Demings also has about as much campaign cash as Rubio, while Crist is going up against an incumbent with $120 million on hand, a record for any statewide race in the country.

Post ID: 713d0603-0b5b-4b32-a0c1-c572c164cdb5
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Miami, Florida

Seattle, Washington
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