dead heat

Val Demings quickly closes in on Marco Rubio in the polls and the heat is officially on

The race for U.S. Senate in Florida is a dead heat.

A new poll finds pro-LGBTQ Democrat Val Demings is just 2 points behind anti-LGBTQ incumbant Marco Rubio, with a 4.5% margin of error.

The Civiqs poll, released yesterday, found 49% of likely Florida voters expressed support for Rubio, compared to 47% who support Demings.

When it comes to favorably, 41% of likely voters said they viewed Rubio in a favorable light, compared to 51% who viewed him unfavorably. Meanwhile, 40% of voters said they viewed Demings in a favorable light, compared to 47% who expressed an unfavorable opinion, and 13% who were unsure.

Related: Val Demings continues to kick major ass in Florida and Marco Rubio is no doubt running scared

In other words, this race is tight, which nobody was expecting when Demings first announced her candidacy in June 2021. Rubio has held the seat since 2011 and Republicans have held the seat since 2005 under three different senators.

Slightly concerned for Demings, however, is that 55% of independents polled said they favored Rubio, while only 37% indicated they’d cast their ballots for her. But with more than a month before the election, she still has time to make up ground there.

As of last month, Demings is outpacing Rubio when it comes to fundraising. So far, she’s brought in over $47 million in campaign donations, compared to his $29 million. When it comes to cash on hand, however, she has about $9 million, compared to his $15 million.

Related: Tammy Baldwin cornered Marco Rubio in an elevator about his antigay remarks and it didn’t go well for him

Having Demings in the U.S. Senate would not only be a victory for Democrats, it would be a victory for LGBTQ people.

In 2019, she co-sponsored the Equality Act, saying in a tweet, “Our past is so ugly in this area. We should all be trying to make it right. The #EqualityAct will protect #LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, education, and more.”

And in 2018, she gave a truly inspiring speech at the HRC’s annual Time to Thrive Youth Conference, where she took the room to church as she spoke about the importance of celebrating our authentic selves.

Rubio, on the other hand, is about as antigay as they come.

In June, he voted against codifying same-sex marriage into federal law. He also opposes non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people as well as gender neutral bathrooms. And he voted against Pete Buttigieg being the first out Secretary of Transportation and Rachel Levin being the first openly trans assistant secretary for health. Oh, and he has a 0% rating with the HRC.

While you’re here, re-live that moment when Demings told Jim Jordan to STFU after he tried interrupting her during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on a hate crimes bill last year…