Bill Nelson, the Democratic U.S. Senator, and Rick Scott, the Republican governor, were locked in a tight race for U.S. Senate in Florida, but Scott emerged in the lead. The race is closely watched because it features two political heavyweights in Florida.
Although Scott declared victory, the margin was so small that the race will head to an automatic recount (that’s true of any race in Florida with a margin of less than 0.5%). As a result, the Democrat, Nelson, has not yet conceded the race as of November 7, 2018.
Scott is ahead with 99 percent in, although the margin is very small. According to CNN, as of the morning of November 7:
Rick Scott: 50.2% 4,081,179
Bill Nelson: 49.8% 4,050,940
You can read the Florida recount rules here.
Where to Find Detailed Live Florida Election Results on November 6, 2018
Here’s another site to track live Florida election results on November 6, 2018.
You can find the Florida Secretary of State’s election night results here.
Who was ahead on election day in the latest polls? According to RealClearPolitics, Nelson led in three of the five most recent polls. You can see all polls in the race here. Nelson led in more of them. (You can see specifics later in this article.)
There was a dramatic increase in early voting turnout in 2018 in Florida (and many other states) when compared to 2014. Although it’s risky to predict which party benefits, some pollsters do bake turnout assumptions into the polls, which could lead to volatility.
Nelson has served in the U.S. Senate since 2000. He has also served in U.S. Congress, in the state Legislature in Florida, and as state Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal. Rick Scott is Florida’s 45th governor and previously ran a healthcare company. Scott has accused Nelson, the state’s only Democratic statewide officeholder, of being a career politician. The race could help determine control of the U.S. Senate, so it is being closely watched.
In October 2018, RealClearPolitics noted in the Florida Senate race: “Rick Scott’s lead has evaporated as Bill Nelson has begun to spend. The race is still close, but Nelson seems to have at least stabilized the situation when it looked like it might be getting away from him.” The election, along with that for Florida governor, is being closely watched as a possible referendum on President Donald Trump. You can see the latest polling results in the Florida governor’s race here.
The Florida Senate race and the Florida governor’s race are being watched as possible canaries in the mine for the 2020 presidential contest as President Trump won Florida in 2016. Nelson and Scott have clashed over a host of issues, including healthcare and taxes. If Scott could pick up the Senate seat, that would obviously help Republicans in their efforts to retain control of the U.S. Senate because it would mean they could afford to lose another Senate seat to the Democrats.
Here’s a roundup of the latest polls on election day in the Florida Senate race:
Trafalgar Group [11/04/18 to 11/05/18]
St. Pete Polls [11/03/18 to 11/04/18]
Emerson [11/01/18 to 11/03/18]
HarrisX [10/29/18 to 11/04/18]
Quinnipiac [10/29/18 to 11/04/18]