Florida to decide Rubio's fate, influence presidential race

Cropped Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida voters are deciding whether Republican Sen. Marco Rubio deserves a second term. The election in Florida also will send at least eight new members to Congress, play a critical role in the presidential race and decide whether to broaden access to medical marijuana.

Rubio is being challenged by Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. The second-term congressmen has repeatedly attacked Rubio for missing votes while running for president and supporting presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The Senate race has been surprisingly close considering Rubio has a huge money and name recognition advantage. Republicans have criticized Murphy for embellishing his education and professional experience.

The race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton has also been close in the nation's largest swing state. There's little chance Trump can win the presidency without the state's 29 electoral votes.