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Signs surrounding Vice President Kamala Harris in Jacksonville, Fla. last week were clear: “Reproductive Freedom” and “Trust Women” framed the lone woman ever to be within a heartbeat of the presidency, as she blamed Florida’s on abortion after six weeks at the foot of former President Donald Trump on the very day it took effect. As a matter of political stagecraft, it was about as as one could have scripted.

“Donald Trump is the architect,” Harris said on May 1, decrying the “4 million women” who that morning with fewer reproductive rights. “He about it.”

As a political matter, Harris is not wrong. Trump nominated three of the U.S. Supreme Court justices who made the end of Roe v. Wade possible, which in turn allowed Florida lawmakers to outlaw abortions in the state after six weeks. And five of the seven justices on the Florida court that allowed the new law to go into effect were by Governor Ron DeSantis, who with Trump’s blessing.

To Biden’s campaign, the list of battleground states is longer than the measly seven that have thus far drawn the most attention. Steamy Florida, where Republicans hold every statewide office, has the potential to be a sexy eighth option. Hence: Harris’ visit last week, Biden’s a week , and a handful of new campaign hires to mind the state day to day.

Florida’s overreach on reproductive rights may indeed put it in play this cycle, but the Sunshine State remains Trump’s to lose. Much more likely is that we may now have an unexpectedly competitive race between GOP Sen. Rick Scott and his Democratic challenger, former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

It’s a race that most strategists had relegated to the second tier until very recently. Along with the motivating power of Florida’s six-week ban and a November ballot measure that will give voters the chance to undo it, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s to forgo a re-election bid in West Virginia has freed up valuable resources—not just from the Democratic Party’s official Senate campaign arm but also the abortion rights groups who, to this point, have been undefeated when the question of access is put directly to voters.

While the White House race dominates in Florida in terms of sizzle, the Senate race may have greater consequences for the next few years. Biden might not need Florida if he can hold steady or even make his push into North Carolina. Even so, Democrats need to pick up at least one Republican-held seat if they have any chance of maintaining control of the Senate. Frankly, West Virginia is gone for a generation given Manchin’s retirement. That leaves the party with only two pick-up options—Florida and Texas, and the latter is at the moment only less of a pipe dream. And that all assumes that Democrats can even hold their seats in places like Montana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In other words, Democrats need every break they can get, which is why Mucarsel-Powell is the quiet rockstar that the party is trying to promote without flagging her as a target for the right.

“What I think is happening is they are realizing the shift on the ground and the shift in Florida,” Mucarsel-Powell tells TIME during a visit to our Washington Bureau.

To be clear, Scott remains the frontrunner. The few non-partisan polls in the state him with a double-digit advantage. And while not exactly adored by his constituents, he has managed to eke out win after win over more than a decade. He’s won any of his general-election races by more than two percentage points. (Usually less, and once via .) This is the first time he will be on the ballot when he’s not the top of the ticket; that crown this year belongs to Trump, and there’s no telling how the ex-President will dictate or derail news coverage over the next six months.

And Scott’s time in Washington has been but smooth. In early 2022, he a campaign strategy memo that drew the open scorn of some members and the ire of Senate Leadership, specifically its call to sunset popular social programs like Social Security and Medicare. (He has since .) He tried and to unseat Senate Leader Mitch McConnell after the 2022 elections that he quarterbacked as head of the GOP Senate’s campaign arm.

In a warning shot against Mucarsel-Powell, Scott has been about $700,000 a week on ads to promote his re-election, including one emphasizing his opposition to socialism—typically a winning message in immigrant-heavy Florida but one that even some Republicans worry may have lost clout when run against Mucarsel-Powell, whose family fled socialist Ecuador when she was a child. Mucarsel-Powell returned the salvo with a Spanish-language ad that says “it’s freedom that Rick Scott wants to take away.”

Scott may be the wet blanket of a candidate that his critics cast him as, but he knows the terrain and is a disciplined technocrat who will out-hustle his rivals. When I went to Florida in 2018 expecting to write him off, I couldn’t help but to his workmanship as I watched him grind it out in boring roundtables and steamy town halls at shift changes. Looking to learn Spanish, he hired native-speaking personal aides to practice with him between events—a pander at first glance but it gave him sufficient proficiency to show he was trying to understand his constituents.

Of course, his vast personal wealth provides him a huge leg up over his rivals. In his first campaign for governor, he spent $70 million of his own money to get to Tallahassee. His second campaign cost him almost $13 million. And his Senate race six years ago cost him more than $50 million.

Mucarsel-Powell has technically outraised Scott, drawing more than $7 million so far. While Scott has reported $7.7 million on his campaign filings, about $7 million is a from his checking account, and he has a personal fortune estimated at a quarter-billion dollars waiting at the ready.

Yet Mucarsel-Powell is poised to see a significant boost, now that courts have cleared the way for Floridians to be asked to preserve abortion rights this fall. Outside groups are readying a ton of cash to get the ballot measure to victory. Polling shows Florida in the same headspace of supporting abortion rights as Ohio and Kansas, both red states that surprised pundits when they backed abortion rights ballot issues.

But here’s the hiccup: Democrats and allies will need 60% of voters to pass the ballot measure, a bar advocates cleared in California and Vermont but one that would have been fatal in Ohio, where voters backed a constitutional right to abortion with 57% support. And the wording on Florida’s ballot measure is tricky and may be harder for voters to parse.

But Mucarsel-Powell only needs 50% plus one vote to win the seat, a target the ballot measure may help her reach, even if it falls short of its higher threshold.

Scott’s team has been across the spectrum when it comes to abortion access in Florida. While he has said he would have preferred a 15-week ban, he nonetheless has backed the six-week one, and said he would have signed it if he had still been governor. (Florida Republicans are quick to note that, unlike total bans in other Southern states, Florida does allow abortions after six weeks for cases involving rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or when the life of a pregnant person is at risk.)

“Everyone knows that Senator Rick Scott supports the right to life. Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell does not,” says Chris Hartline, a senior adviser to the Scott campaign. “Floridians agree that there should be some reasonable limits placed on abortion. Senator Scott has been very clear where he stands: No national bans, with the consensus at 15 weeks with limitations for rape, incest, and life of the mother. Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell takes an extreme view opposing any common-sense limits on abortion.”

Despite the murmurs of optimism on the Democratic side, Scott backers argue Democrats are overplaying their hand. Their strongest evidence: Florida’s no l