Yet again, all — or at least many — eyes are on Florida. The state has ended up figuring prominently in the Democratic fight for increased control of government across the United States in the midterms, which are in just a couple of weeks. A new poll has Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott in a dead heat in the race to be the state’s next U.S. Senator — Scott is ahead by only 0.3 percent according to the St. Pete Polls release, which is a negligible difference.
He garnered the support of 48.6 percent of respondents, while Nelson managed 48.3 percent. The poll’s margin of error is a full 2.5 percent.
Nelson is the one on the defense in the race, seeking to keep the governor turned U.S. Senate hopeful Scott from unseating him. He’s showed up as in the lead in other polls — but in some, like this newest one, he’s ended up right alongside Scott as they fight for victory.
One of the more recent measures had him a full five percent ahead. That one, from CNN, also delivered a rosy outlook for the Democrat hoping to replace Scott as the state’s governor, Andrew Gillum. CNN estimated him to be maintaining a 10-12 percent leading margin over Republican challenger Ron DeSantis heading into November.
Nelson has had it tougher. He’s suffered attacks on his public image over his long career in Congress, not exactly proving himself the same kind of upstart progressive candidate as Gillum. Still, he’s often been registered as ahead in polls, and FiveThirtyEight estimates that he’ll probably win in November, giving him a roughly 2 in 3 chance. The same outlet estimates that the outcome of the Florida U.S. Senate race has a 8.8 percent chance of proving indicative of the party balance of the incoming Congress.
Other states with a higher chance of proving among those to put Democrats over the edge include Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas, where Democrats continue to run in tight races.
Even though the newest St. Pete Polls measure of the race has Scott ahead, Nelson’s doing better in their paradigm than he was. Earlier this month, they had Scott ahead by the slightly larger than presently held margin of 1.4 percent — and last month, they had Nelson ahead by 0.7 percent.
In other words, the race remains tight.
It’s one of many under close scrutiny across the country. In the U.S. Senate, the aforementioned races in Texas, Tennessee, and Nevada, have proven contentious — almost surprisingly so at times. Democrat Beto O’Rourke, for instance, surged to the point of turning his race against Texas Republican Ted Cruz into a toss-up, according to the Cook Political Report. The Nevada and Tennessee races are also rated as toss-ups, for the record.
Democrats have a clearer shot to becoming the majority party in the U.S. House, where they’re running on continued massive leads in generic ballot polling and believed to have an around 6 in 7 chance of pulling off the shift.
The shift would lead to a significant new check on the worst tendencies of the Trump administration. The White House would no longer have a Congress at its beck and call.
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