The Florida Senate race may be moving away from Republican Rick Scott


October 2, 2018 

First things first: The theme song of the week is "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay from the television show "Perfect Strangers."

Poll of the week: A new Marist College poll finds that Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson holds a 48% to 45% advantage over Republican Rick Scott. Two other gold standard polls out this week from the University of North Florida and Quinnipiac University give Nelson an average 3.5 point lead. What's the point: For much of the summer, Scott has been tied or ahead of Nelson. Some of that polling was from lower quality pollsters (who don't call cell phones or don't use live interviews), but even among higher quality pollsters it seemed Scott was more than holding his own. 

A Scott win would be against what we'd normally expect to happen in a midterm election in which there is a Republican president. In midterm elections since 1982, the senator of the opposition party has won about 96% of the time. The only cases where that didn't happen were when the president was extremely popular (President Donald Trump has an approval of around 40%) or when the incumbent was suffering from a scandal (Nelson isn't). Indeed, I'm not aware of a "fundamentals" model in which Scott would be favored. My own model that takes into account money raised from individuals, candidate quality (i.e., current or previous office held), the partisan lean of the state and the national political environment has Nelson favored by a little less than 10 percentage points. Visit to read the full article. 

Category: Government & Elected Officials

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