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Florida's Clash of Titans: Rick Scott, Bill Nelson Locked in Tight Senate Race - Here's What They're Up Against

10-08-2018
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WASHINGTON – The 2018 Florida Senate race is a clash of the titans with two-time Republican Gov. Rick Scott trying to unseat long-term Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.

"This race is destined to be tight to the very end because Florida is a very polarized state," longtime Florida political analyst Susan MacManus tells CBN News.

MacManus believes the margin of victory in the race could be 1%.

"Partisanship is very deep in this state; the stakes are high," continued MacManus. "Money is rolling into this race from outside the state obviously because Democrats are holding onto dear life for that seat."
 
Republicans are giving it their all to win over Florida, but with 28% of the state registered as no party, Gov. Scott is walking a fine line as to how closely he associates with President Donald Trump.

"Gov. Scott has a really tough time because he knows that he has to capture a certain part of that no party affiliation/independent vote, and he's got to continue to hold onto Republicans and at the same time try to think about some of those conservative Democrats in the panhandle that might vote for him," comments MacManus.

MacManus calls Florida the most difficult state for campaigning because of it's diversity and size and says statewide candidates must be careful on sensitive issues like gun control.

"The issue itself plays quite differently depending on where you are in Florida," she says.

For example, rural voters see guns as necessary protection while urban voters associate the weapons with two deadly events still fresh in their minds.

MacManus says in order for either candidate to win, they have to talk about issues that are important to Florida and how to fix problems in the state.

Republican voters argue that Sen. Nelson has been in office far too long.

"He's a career politician at this point," says Florida resident Ellie Rudisill.

"Sen. Nelson is probably a good man, but he hasn't been in Florida in a long time," echoed Ashe Mason.

But Democrats believe he's done a good job fighting for Medicare, Social Security and protecting Obamacare.

"I like his stance on the issues," Robert Chavarria told CBN News.

Sen. Nelson easily won his past elections, but Republicans are hopeful that with Gov. Scott they finally have a chance at defeating him.

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