WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Early voting began Monday in Palm Beach County, and three days in, about 21,000 people have cast their vote.
On the ballot is the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Marco Rubio and Democratic challenger Val Demings.
Historically, South Florida's larger counties — Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade — have had a larger number of Democrats registered to vote than Republicans, making it key for candidates like Demings to secure their vote as she challenges Rubio for the Senate seat.
"The people will keep me going in this race — their hopes, fears, dreams," she told WPTV. "It will take me straight to running through the tape. I'm gonna win this race."
Her opponent campaigned Thursday in central Florida.
Demings voted early in Orlando and then held a rally downtown West Palm Beach.
"It's just great to be here. I mean, we live in the greatest country in the world," she said. "I want every person to have the opportunity to feel what greatness feels like."
Demings said she plans to spend a considerable time in South Florida to discuss various issues among different diversity groups.
Supporters at the rally expressed the issues that matter to them.
"The abortion issue has really gone all the way and I don't think it can go any further, but the economics is a very, very important issue right now for everybody, both parties," Karen Crug, who attended the Demings rally, said.
On Rubio's agenda are issues like inflation, energy cost and crime as he campaigned at a Florida Farm Bureau event in Orlando.
"I can tell you, as long as I'm a United States senator, you're going to have someone up there that's fighting for Florida agriculture," Rubio said.
Rubio is expected to host a rally Thursday in Jupiter at 5:30 p.m.
"People know what's at stake," he said. "Look, the same party's been in charge in Washington for two years and everything's worse."
Right now, about 16% of eligible voters have voted in Palm Beach County.
According to the most recent poll by the University of North Florida, Rubio is ahead of Demings 54% to 43%.