Correction: When we published, it turned out that Scott had won, according to a call from the Decision Desk and other sales points, but because the votes are still being counted, it seems a recount is possible.
Republican Rick Scott, who ran for the Senate after two terms of office as Senator in Florida, defeated the Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in the most expensive Senate race of 2018, encouraging the GOP and extending their senate majority. The mood stays close, with less than a percentage point difference between the two.
Scott used a huge amount of campaign cash – largely his own money – and his position as an outsider of Washington to defeat Nelson, a relatively popular incumbent who nevertheless aroused great enthusiasm in a campaign year when Democrats were activated across the board in many races. country. Scott's spending advantage helped him build an early ballot and Nelson was never able to close the gap.
Nelson was one of 10 Senate Democrats who were candidates for re-election in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016. Trump loomed up during the Florida race: Scott was initially closely involved with the president but later tried to distance himself from them. take on matters such as Puerto Rico, where the president suggested that the death toll after Hurricane Maria was exaggerated.
Scott portrayed Nelson as out of balance, an old senator with little to show for his years in office. Nelson, who has remained relatively popular and usually avoids the partisan struggle in Washington, is thwarted by connecting Scott as close as possible to Trump and hitting the familiar points in his biography, such as his flight to space.
But Florida has retained a relatively high opinion about Trump since its inauguration, at least in comparison with other swing states. Scott ran on his record of his two terms as governor and the improvement of the state's economy, recruiting more than 1 million jobs added since he took over. That turned out to be a winning combination.
Scott first ran to the office and emphasized his opposition to Obamacare, but in 2018, like many other Republican candidates across the country, he tried to claim that he also wanted to preserve the already existing protection of the law. Nelson and outside the Democratic groups hammered Scott for his earlier support for withdrawal, but Florida is one of many states where health care did not seem to hurt Republican candidates, just as the party feared.
The shootings at Parkland secondary school also mobilized young voters in the state who gathered for more restrictions on gun ownership. Scott earned bipartisan accolades for his reaction to the shooting, pushing through legislation that opposed the National Rifle Association, but he and Nelson still bumped over how much to catch on rifles.
The hurricane in Puerto Rico also played a central role in the campaign after tens of thousands of residents of the island had moved to Florida to escape the damage. Scott was confused after Trump claimed that the media and the Democrats mistakenly attacked him with an inflated number of deaths, a claim that Scott had to distance himself from.
In the end, however, that was not enough to win back Scott – and his victory is the final signal that Florida has made a darker shade of red in the Trump era.