Democrat Patrick Murphy, shunned by his party’s national organizations despite a tightening race with Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, has reached into his own pocket and loaned his campaign $1 million for TV ads to air in the campaign’s closing days.
Rubio fired back Thursday — touting the $2.85 million he has raised in the opening weeks of October.
“Not only are national Democrats abandoning Murphy, but his donors, both big and small, are turning their backs too,” the Rubio campaign said in a statement.
For his part, Murphy campaign manager Josh Wolf said, “These additional resources will help position our campaign to win with expanded TV buys across Florida. We are confident in our path to victory.”
Murphy is from a wealthy South Florida construction family. His father, Thomas Murphy, has already poured millions into political commitees supporting his son.
Outside groups supporting Rubio are outspending Murphy’s allies by more than three-to-one.
The day after the contenders’ first Senate debate last week, Murphy was hit with news that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had dropped plans to air TV spots for him, directing its spending to states with Senate contests seen as cheaper to buy advertising and more winnable.
DSCC last spring had pledged to spend $10 million helping Murphy — before Rubio announced that he’d seek re-election.
Since then, the DSCC has canceled all its general election advertising for the two-term Jupiter congressman, who has trailed Rubio in every major poll taken in the race.
Still, with last night’s second and likely final TV debate in the Florida Senate race, several recent polls have shown Murphy gaining on his rival.