With Florida Sen. Marco Rubio seen as a virtual shoo-in for re-election, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has pulled money from Rubio's challenger, Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy and redirected it to states that look to be more winnable.
Some Democrats — including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — are not happy, and want to try to take Rubio out — hoping his second loss in one campaign season would kill his political career and any threat he could pose to Hillary Clinton in 2020, when they are banking that she'll be up for re-election as president.
But that's not the group's focus at this point.
"The goal is to win back the Senate, and with limited resources and seven or eight other races that are just as close or even more likely for Democrats to win, it's hard to find the resources for a state as big as Florida," one source involved in how the group's money is spent told CNN.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will take over as top Democrat in the Senate next year, and the committee's chairman, Montana Sen. Jon Tester, are in charge of where the money is directed.
Reid — and others — would like for them to put money back into Murphy's campaign, which they think in winnable.
"We are spending money in Florida," Reid told CNN last week, but said he wants to see more.
"Schumer and Reid agree that they'd like to find a way to play in Florida, it's just that money is tight," said Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson.
Rubio was one of 16 GOP opponents felled by eventual presidential nominee Donald Trump, and even lost Florida, his home state. Democrats who want to pump more money into defeating his Senate re-election bid think two losses in one election cycle would poison any future political hopes and take away a future White House threat.
Rubio, only in his 40s, is the son of Cuban immigrants and was one of Trump's longest-lasting foes along with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. He's seen by many as one of the GOP's best hopes in future elections.
That's why Democrats want to take him out once and for all.
"I think it's one of those races where you can very easily wake up the day after the elections and if Marco wins by 100,000 votes, and say, 'That was really a missed opportunity,'" Florida Democratic strategist Steven Schale told CNN. "I honestly don't know why at this point they are not reconsidering putting" money in the race.
"The Clintons have extra incentive to help Patrick," a source in Florida told Politico. "If Rubio loses his re-election after losing his home state to Trump in the presidential primary, he’s done. No one can survive two losses at home in the same year. Don’t you think Hillary would be happy if she knew that Marco was no longer a threat to her in four years?"
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