Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott flipped one of Florida’s two Senate seats for the GOP. The seat had previously been held by Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who had been in the U.S. Senate since 2001. With Scott replacing Nelson, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will now be the senior senator from Florida.
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Scott was term limited as governor of Florida.
Scott and Nelson were both polling within the margin of error throughout the race. A poll taken Saturday by St. Pete Polls had Scott up by a single point (49 to 48 percent). That poll had a margin of error of 2 percent. This was a change from 2012, when Nelson won re-election by a very comfortable margin of 13 points.
Scott mostly self-funded his own campaign, paying for $51 million of the $66.5 million his campaign spent by Oct. 17. According to the Orlando Sentinel, at the end of 2017, Scott had a net worth of $232.6 million.
Speaking to Florida voters at a rally for Nelson and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, former President Barack Obama stressed the significance of the 2018 election.
“The consequences of any of us staying home really are more dangerous,” he told the crowd. “Maybe most of all the character of our country is on the ballot.”
Scott earned a high-profile endorsement of his own. On Oct. 31, President Donald Trump visited Florida to campaign for Scott and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) who was running for governor. Trump warned Floridians that if Nelson won another term, it would mean higher taxes for all Americans.
“In less than one week, Americans will go to the polls in one of the most important elections of their lives,” Trump said at the rally, before qualifying that this election was “not as important as 2016. I’d like to say it, but not really.”
This is a developing story and will be updated