Senate: We now have an open seat here. Marco Rubio has decided to forgo reelection and run for the GOP nomination for President instead. The most likely nominee for the Democrats will be Representative Patrick Murphy. Murphy is only 32 years right now and would be almost 4 months shy of 35 when he would be sworn in January 2017. There are many reasons why he is the ideal candidates for Democrats, his age is one of them. If he ends up winning the seat next year, he would have the potential for decades of service ahead of him. Florida's senior Senator, Bill Nelson, will be 76 in the fall of 2018 when his seat is up. While he may decide to run for a 4th term: it seems more likely that he will call it quits. Democrats would feel better knowing that they would still have at least one Senator from Florida after the 2018 mid-terms.
Murphy, like Charlie Christ, is a former Republican. However, Murphy has never served as a Republican. He switched registration a few months before announcing (in 2011) he was running against Alan West in 2012. He had previously donated to Mitt Romney's 2008 Presidential campaign as well as various other contributions to both Republican and Democratic candidates. His district also has a GOP lean to it. It went for Bush by 14% in 2000, Bush by 9% in 2004, Obama by 3% in 2008 and Romney by 4% in 2012. The Cook PVI here is R +3. The GOP would not be at a total loss if Murphy won the open Senate race as team red would be the favorite to pick up this light red seat in the house.
The only declared Republican candidate at this time is Representative Ron DeSantis. Like Murphy, he is also quite young at 36. He Represents the fairly red 6th district. This district older and whiter than the state as a whole.
The only preliminary polling here in regards to this race give Murphy a meaningless 33%-14% lead. The only thing meaningful here is that Murphy has a 22%-15% start with Independents and actually pulls a 26%-19% lead among Republicans. Much of this support from Independents and Republicans likely comes from the district he currently represents. That being said, it is puzzling that DeSantis couldn't find more that 19% of Republicans to support him even at this stage when Murphy at least pulled 45%. This poll was done by Saint Leo University and 9% of respondents say that the "rarely or never" vote during the general elections. 78% said they vote at least most of the time. This might explain part of the reason for the very high undecideds. Regardless, this race is a toss-up at this point regardless how you slice it.
President: This race has the ability to nudge the Senate race in either direction. Of course the best chance the GOP has at winning Florida in 2016 is if the nominee is either Bush or Rubio. While Mason-Dixon found leads for Bush and Rubio of 4%-6%, the best anyone else has found is 3% for Bush and Rubio down by 2% by Quinnipiac. Most others have been finding single digit leads for Clinton over both Candidates. Clinton fares considerably better against all other GOP candidates. For example, the March Quinnipiac poll that found Bush up by 3% also found Clinton beating Cruz by 9%, Huckabee by 8%, Christie by 5% and Scott Walker by 6%. Rand Paul actually has been getting 3%-4% here within Clinton from Quinnipiac and PPP since he announced his candidacy. If either Bush or Rubio win the GOP nomination, this will be a hard fought battleground in 2016. If Cruz, Walker, Christie, Huckabee, Carson or Perry are the nominee: chances look fairly good for Clinton and Murphy to both win here by single digits in 2016.