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Marco Rubio is headed back to the U.S. Senate with his prospects of another run for president intact.
Rubio defeated two-term Congressman Patrick Murphy, who couldn’t overcome poor name recognition or questions about embellishments on his résumé.
Tuesday’s outcome was not a surprise given Rubio never trailed in 47 consecutive public polls of the race since he jumped into the contest in June. Yet given that Rubio emphatically stated he would not run for re-election six months ago, the outcome was still improbable.
Rubio, flanked by his family, took the stage at his watch party shortly before 9 p.m. to the cheers of a raucous crowd inside a ballroom at Miami’s Airport Hilton
He said he talked to Murphy by phone. “He ran a great race.”
In his brief remarks, Rubio struck a optimistic tone, making no mention of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. He took a sharply different tact than Trump, his party’s standard bearer who campaigned with divisive rhetoric.
“America is going to be OK. We will turn this country around. I have faith. I know God is not done with America yet,” Rubio said, adding: “While we can disagree on issues, we cannot share a country where people hate each other because of their political affiliations. We cannot move forward as a nation if we can not have enlightened debates about tough issues."
Photo credit: Wilfredo Lee / AP