Dems Worry About Florida: Sen. Bill Nelson Vs. Rick Scott

Dems Worry About Florida: Sen. Bill Nelson Vs. Rick Scott

Democrats are increasingly concerned Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., will lose his re-election bid against Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and thus cost the party any chance of capturing the U.S. Senate in November, Politico reported Monday.

It has been a month since Nelson has been ahead in an opinion poll in this swing state President Donald Trump barely won in 2016, even though Democrats in general are polling well in states Trump captured handily.

Some Democrats have said the low-key, third-term senator is effective in Washington, but his style is not suited for a Trump-era campaign, especially as he is being vastly outspent by his Republican competitor.

Critics have also said he has not been visible enough in the campaign, while Scott has had a very high profile and has maintained his lead despite being beset by a string of bad headlines at home with accusations of conflicts of interest and his poor environmental record as the state suffers historic water pollution problems.

Nelson has also never faced a heavyweight opponent like the independently wealthy Scott in his previous races for the Senate.

Republicans are suggesting Democrats might give up on Nelson as a lost cause and concentrate on less expensive states, with Sen. John Thune, D-S.D., saying the Democrats have “such a big map this year, it’s going to be really hard for them where they are trying to figure out how to reallocate resources, and that if the Democrats didn’t invest in Florida, they “could spend a lot of money in North Dakota, Montana, and Missouri and places like that.”

Without strong African-American turnout and support, Democrats typically lose statewide in Florida, but some blacks have expressed disappointment the senator has not shown enough interest in their community until the election campaign started.

Complicating matters further for Nelson’s chances are his cautious style has failed to fire up progressive and he has not kept up with the state’s¬†burgeoning Puerto Rican population, while Scott has moved in by welcoming evacuees after Hurricane Maria decimated the island and tens of thousands moved to the state.

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