Inside Florida's Red-Meat Republican Primary

Florida's Senate contest will test whether Republicans prize pragmatism over ideology

Illustration by Stephen Kroninger; Steak: Getty

On a recent Saturday night in Daytona Beach — with a thousand or so bikers exercising their unalienable right to be extremely noisy in the streets — Marco Rubio, the new ultraconservative poster boy running for the U.S. Senate in Florida, offered the Volusia County Republican Party a carefully calibrated, and rather compelling, celebration of freedom. He spoke about his Cuban heritage. His parents had escaped Castro. "It is possible to lose your freedom. You can have your family business taken over by 'the people.' You can lose your country. My parents did," he said, while carefully adding that he wasn't...

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