Back in May, I wrote about Harry Reid being “fairly certain” that Democrats can retake the Senate this year.  He has reason to be fairly certain in part because Republicans are defending far more Senate seats than Democrats: “Democrats need five Senate seats to retake the Senate, and while it’s not a lock, things don’t look good for Republicans who are defending 24 seats to the Democrats’ 10.”

Watch Bret Baier’s overview:

With the Senate hanging by a thread this November and the high stakes involved in losing it to the Democrats, we’ve been paying close attention to the Senate races across the country.

The Florida primaries are on Tuesday, and judging by the way Marco Rubio (R) and Patrick Murphy (D) are running their campaigns, they are each confident they will win their respective races.

The Miami Herald reports:

Florida’s primary elections are Tuesday, but you wouldn’t know it by watching either of the two top Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate over the past week.

Carlos Beruff, the brash, self-funding Republican hoping to take out Sen. Marco Rubio, has had just one campaign appearance over the last six days and reduced his television advertising spending.

Rubio has given three public campaign speeches totaling about one hour over three days and mentioned the looming primary race for all of 30 seconds. And in that short mention to campaign volunteers in Tallahassee, Rubio characterized Tuesday’s get-out-the-vote effort as “practice” for what his campaign will need in November.

. . . . The bitter competition of the Democratic primary has also tapered off in the final days and weeks of the contest.

Murphy — long considered the steady front-runner — has been in general-election mode for almost a month, targeting his attacks on Rubio rather than his primary opponents, fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and Pam Keith, a Miami labor attorney and former naval officer.

Murphy’s campaign stopped running TV ads the last two weeks to save money for the anticipated battle against Rubio, while also announcing Murphy prepaid $800,000 worth of fall advertising time.

Their internal polling must be as strong as the public polling for each to move on to the general election in the weeks leading up to the primary.

Newsmax has the numbers:

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and his chief opponent, Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, are likely to win their party primary races.

In the upcoming four-way Republican primary, Rubio holds a strong lead:

  • Marco Rubio: 61 percent;
  • Carlos Beruff: 22 percent;
  • Ernie Rivera: 1 percent;
  • Dwight Mark Anthony Young: 1 percent;
  • Undecided: 15 percent.

In the Democratic primary, with five candidates, Murphy enjoys a strong advantage:

  • Patrick Murphy: 55 percent;
  • Alan Grayson: 22 percent;
  • Pam Keith: 4 percent;
  • Roque De La Fuente: 0 percent;
  • Reginald Luster: 0 percent;
  • Undecided: 19 percent.

Should the polls hold on Tuesday, Rubio and Murphy are going to be running a much closer race leading up to the November election.

The Mason-Dixon poll has them in a virtual tie with Rubio at 46% and Murphy at 43%.

Rubio is ahead of Murphy by 46-43 percent — a virtual tie, given the poll’s error margin of 4 percentage points. Rubio leads among Republicans, independents, men, whites and Hispanics. Murphy is ahead among Democrats, women and African-Americans.

Murphy, a former Republican who has been endorsed by Obama, is seen as a centrist Democrat and is reviled by the progressive left.

The progressive outlet Salon has an entertaining take on Murphy.

The Senate . . . has long been considered doable and while that doesn’t solve the problem of that Blue Eyed devil Paul Ryan and his Tea Partying wrecking crew, it does mean something when it comes to things like Supreme Court judges and Executive Branch appointments. (And if the worst were to happen and, God forbid, Trump were to win the presidency, having the Senate majority could be the difference between simple dysfunction and total chaos.) It is a very important goal and one for which the Democrats have been preparing for some time.

. . . . The Democrats meanwhile went out of their way to recruit one of the worst possible candidates available in any state, Congressman Patrick Murphy a two-term congressman with a very wealthy and generous Republican father. The Democrats had persuaded Murphy to switch his R to a D in 2012 and he unsurprisingly went on to compile one of the most conservative records in the House Democratic caucus. He was even one of the chief Benghazi witch hunters enthusiastically helping Republicans smear Hillary Clinton.

This could be a problem for Rubio because Murphy is the guy who unseated Colonel Allen West in a very close election in 2012 and easily won reelection two years later.  Murphy supports comprehensive immigration reform and a host of other progressive agenda items and would almost certainly be malleable once ensconced among Democrats in DC.

The Tampa Bay Times reports:

Murphy brushed off the skepticism about his Democratic values.

“I’m proud to support comprehensive immigration reform, I haven’t changed my position on marriage equality, on a woman’s right to choose, raising the minimum wage. These are all things that I support, along with getting our fiscal house in order,” Murphy told the Times.

With one Supreme Court nomination certain and potentially crippling ObamaCare measures kicked down the road by Obama and now scheduled to take effect in 2017, the Senate will be incredibly important for whomever wins the White House in November.

[Featured image via The Orlando Sentinel]