Is Florida a possible GOP Senate pick-up?

  • 27 August 2018
  • NormanL

While a lot of national attention is focused on the U.S. House races, where Democrats believe they have a chance at winning a majority, less attention has been placed on the Senate. And for good reason: unike House races, which turn as much on local issues, district lines, and personalities, Senate races are statewide, and run much more on national dynamics. Here, Democrats aren't doing so well, as this Politico report on the Florida Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott makes abundantly clear:

Privately, a number of Democratic senators have offered their unsolicited view that Nelson is in for a reckoning on Election Day, which would cost Democrats any hope of winning back the Senate. Nelson is a classic old-school senator who keeps his head down and does his work, which is effective in the Capitol but less so in a Trump-era campaign in the most expensive battleground state. He’s being vastly outspent, and there’s concern in Florida the national party might cut him loose if a loss looks certain in the expensive Sunshine State.

And Florida Democrats fret that the low-key third-term senator has not been visible enough while Scott is seemingly everywhere.

“We have no contact with the U.S. senator until it’s an election year and that’s a problem,” said Tangela Sears, a Miami anti-violence activist and campaign surrogate for the Democratic Party’s only African-American candidate for governor, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. “I don’t need your attention when you need my vote. I need your attention to put a plan together to move my community forward.”

It’s been a month since Nelson led a public poll. Private polling, even surveys conducted by Democrats, also show Nelson behind Scott.

There's much more at the link, but the short version: Nelson is in trouble. There's still a long way to go before Election Day, but the hole he's dug for himself may be too deep. Defeating incumbents, of either party, is very hard work. But a GOP victory just might be in reach. For our readers in Florida -- make it happen!