You get the feeling in talking to Governor Rick Scott that he knows something we don’t know. He’s confident about this outcome of next Tuesday’s election. “I feel comfortable I’m going to win,” Governor Scott said. And at the same time reflective of his two terms as governor. “I’ve learned a lot these past 8 years.”
Entering the weekend before the 2018 midterm election, Scott is crossing the state making his closing argument in his campaign for the U.S. Senate. He’s asking voters to remove the three-term Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. His closing message to Floridians? Vote. “I keep telling my 6 year-old grandson I only need one more vote than the other guy.”
And if the polls are any indication, the race between Scott and Nelson will come down to the wire. A new poll released Friday shows Scott with a five-point lead, however, most surveys show the race deadlocked. Scott has won his two terms as governor by a margin of one percent.
The Senate race in Florida has drawn national attention since the outcome could impact the balance of power in the upper chamber. That attention has turned the campaign into a heated battle between Nelson and Scott with negative commercials filling Florida’s airwaves. Nelson, who’s lived a charmed five-decade political career, is in the fight of his life. Gov. Scott has spent more than $60 million of his own money to finance most of his campaign, something Democrats and the media have criticized him for doing. Scott calls that a sign of his independence. “If I invest my money, I clearly care. I care about this country. I want to work to make it better.”
Polls also show that Scott has cross-over appeal. A majority of Floridians give him a positive grade for his recent handling of the Hurricane Michael recovery. Scott spent two weeks away from the campaign trail leading recovery in the Panhandle. Friday morning before he headed out to campaign, Scott went to Panama City to check on recovery. He says its about prioritizing and doing his job.
But Scott knows his leadership during the recent hurricane will also likely help him at the ballot box.
“This race is not as much about party. Republicans, Democrats and independents are going to vote for me because they know I work and I care. People know me.”