Rick Scott Leads Bill Nelson By Slim Margin For U.S. Senate Seat, Race Heads To A Recount
By Nancy Smith, Sunshine State News // November 7, 2018
Scott leads 50.2 percent to Nelson's 49.8 percent
(SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – Apparently the race to claim a U.S. Senate seat isn’t over in Florida.
Even as Republican Rick Scott was delivering his victory speech in Naples just after midnight, a few counties were still fielding a trickle of ballots. By 3:30 a.m. Scott’s lead over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson had dwindled to below the threshold of certainty and into recount territory.
At 5 a.m., Scott held only a 38,717-vote lead over Nelson. That’s 50.2 percent to Nelson’s 49.8 percent — or .4 percent.
In Florida, when a margin of victory is under .5 percent, a recount is automatic.
CNN is reporting that absentee ballots postmarked on Nov. 6 — Election Day — may take another day or two to arrive, so the total could change.
Florida already is infamous for its election recounts, based on 2000’s dramatic recount during the weeks after Election Day in the 2000 United States presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. It was watched by the whole world. The Florida vote was ultimately settled in Bush’s favor by a margin of 537 votes when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Bush v. Gore, stopped a recount that had been initiated on a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court. That, in turn, gave Bush a majority of votes in the Electoral College and victory in the presidential election.
Scott, meanwhile, is no stranger to “winning slim.” In both of his gubernatorial elections, he won by less than 2 percentage points — in 2010, with 48.9 percent to Alex Sink’s 47.7 percent; in 2014, with 48.1 percent to Charlie Crist’s 47.1 percent.
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