Democrats Are Worried Bill Nelson Will ‘Choke’ in FL-Sen. Race Democrats Are Worried Bill Nelson Will ‘Choke’ in FL-Sen. Race – NTK Network

Democrats Are Worried Bill Nelson Will ‘Choke’ in FL-Sen. Race

“We have no contact with the U.S. senator until it’s an election year and that’s a problem,” one Florida Democrat told Politico.

By NTK Staff | 08.27.2018 @9:30am
Democrats Are Worried Bill Nelson Will ‘Choke’ in FL-Sen. Race

It’s been a month since Sen. Bill Nelson led in a public poll of the Florida U.S. Senate race. That, combined with Nelson’s “laid back” style, is causing some Democrats to worry that the Senate race – and their hopes of winning back control of the Senate in November – is slipping away.

Nelson is facing Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), who represents the most serious challenge Nelson has ever faced in his political career. While Scott is “seemingly everywhere” on the campaign trail, Nelson prefers a “low-key” style that is causing some Democrats to fret.

A few of those Democrats spoke to Politico about their concerns:

“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.”

Another Democrat said Nelson is “not a modern-day campaigner,” adding that the 75-year-old is “very old school.”

A new poll released last week showed Scott ahead of Nelson, 45-39. The RealClearPolitics polling average of the race puts Scott ahead of Nelson by 1.5 percentage points.

Even Democrats who are more optimistic about Nelon’s chances say that he’ll have little to do with any potential victory.

“I’m not saying our confidence is in Nelson. Our confidence is in the dynamics [of the race],” one Democrat told Politico.

Ultimately, the race could come down to simple math and demographics in the state.

Without strong African-American turnout and support, Democrats typically lose statewide in Florida. Black voters are part of the four-legged stool that supports the party, in addition to Hispanics, and centrist and progressive whites.

A centrist in style and cautious by nature, Nelson hasn’t fired up progressives. And Nelson hasn’t kept up with the state’s burgeoning Puerto Rican population, while Scott has moved in.

Scott’s strong support among the Hispanic communities in Florida, namely the conservative Cuban communities and the more liberal Puerto Rican who favorably view his efforts after last year’s Hurricane Maria, is what’s putting him in a strong position with just over two months to go.

The Florida primary is Tuesday, August 28, and both Nelson and Scott are expected to easily cruise to victory.

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