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FL-Sen: Democrats jumping in to save Sen. Bill Nelson in his Florida race

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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott speak to the media about Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6, 2017, in Doral, Florida. Nelson and Scott are polling nearly even in the race for Nelson's Senate seat. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Senate Majority PAC has started running ads on behalf of sitting Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D), who is being challenged by Florida's GOP Gov. Rick Scott. At this point, both Nelson and Scott are polling nearly even.

The ad portrayed Nelson as a man who thinks for himself and recalled his past as a captain in the U.S. Army and an astronaut. A spokesperson for Scott mocked the ad blitz.

"It looks like Democrat Party boss Chuck Schumer has had to come to the aid of his struggling foot soldier Bill Nelson," Ryan Patmintra said in a statement on Scott's campaign website.

Patmintra also slammed the ad for painting Nelson, 75, as an independent voter, despite a record that he said is "anything but moderate."

While Nelson's approval ratings as a senator have been positive (51 percent), Scott's have been even more so (58 percent). Scott, 65, has also reportedly been campaigning with a level of speaking skills that even his supporters seem surprised at.

This Florida Senate seat is seen as a crucial race by both parties, because of how close the race is at this point. Democrats are trying to pick up enough Republican seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to gain majorities. A victory by Scott could provide Republicans with a new Senate seat to offset a loss elsewhere in the country.

Republicans are currently barely holding onto their majority in the Senate, with 51 seats, compared to 47 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Republicans hold a much more solid 235-to-193 majority in the House.

So far the Republican governor has been outspending his incumbent opponent by a massive margin. Scott has spent $8 million of his own $150 million fortune so far, while another $4 million from outside groups has gone to run attacks against Nelson.

In contrast, Nelson has spent just $400,000 on targeting Scott. NBC News reported last week that Scott was outspending Nelson when it came to purchasing radio and television ads by a 50-to-1  margin.

However, the Senate Majority PAC joining the fray will help narrow that disparity. The PAC announced that this latest round of advertisements alone would cost it roughly $2.2 million.

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