Florida Politics: U. S. Sen Bill Nelson Can’t Count On Anti-Trump Voters





As the days wind into summer, Rick Scott is on his way to capture the last statewide office that Democrats hold. 

The only Big D still standing is U. S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who Scott is running against. Unfortunately for D’s, Nelson represents the status quo when voters appear to be demanding change. 

Nelson has yet to explain how another six-year term will be different than the past 45 years he served as an elected Democrat. 

His slogan echoes Nelson’s past: “Fighting For Florida. Always Has. Always Will.”

Fighting who?  Republicans, of course, and most certainly Donald Trump.  

Being a Democrat and anti-Trump is all that Nelson really has going for him. With Trumps’ poll numbers climbing, that is a chancy bet in Florida.

Always remember that Trump won Florida by more than 100,000 votes. Always remember that Florida is a state where Democratic statewide candidates have rarely been victorious.  

Nelson has been able to run against that Red Tide…until now. In 2018, he may end up drowning in a wave of Republican ballots. 


  • Scott will have millions of dollars more than Nelson to run his campaign and get his message across. A multi-millionaire, Scott can even write a huge check if necessary. 
  • Nelson will be 76 or 11 years older than Scott, 65, on Election Day.  Nelson looks every bit his age, despite any lifts and tucks that may have been done. That could be devastating, especially in televised debates. Personal appearance does matter in campaigns.  

Rick Scott (on left) and Bill Nelson.


  • Scott can demand attention at any time as governor. Election Day is at the end of hurricane season during which Scott could illustrate his competence for statewide television viewers several times daily. 
  • Nelson may be sidelined for huge chunks of the summer during a proposed session of the U. S. Senate. 
  • Scott can claim credit for a better economy since he took office. Scott’s major goal was creating jobs and he can point to an increase of employment. 
  • And Nelson can take credit for…????
  • Democrats are sharply divided and still don’t have a unifying campaign message. Just what do Democrats believe except opposition to Trump? 
  • The Florida Democratic Party remains dysfunctional.  Counting on the party organization (What organization?) to get Ds to the polls in November is like hoping Trump’s administration will collapse. 

It ain’t happening. 

This from David Von Drehle in The Washington Post this week: 

“What looked like a winning message last winter — ‘not Trump’ — appears less potent today. The president has set the bar for himself so low that if November comes and he hasn’t been frog-marched from the Oval Office in handcuffs, and hasn’t rendered the Earth a glowing nuclear ember, a sizable number of Americans will judge him a success.


“It’s the economy, stupid.”

The economy is booming. 

People are working. People are spending. Florida is doing well.

Trump and Scott are taking credit. 

In the fast moving world of politics today, Nelson’s could recover. 

Maybe The Russian probe. Maybe a vicious trade war will drive up consumer prices and drive Nelson to victory. 

A Nelson win is contingent on Donald Trump and the hope that his government falters.

One lesson Nelson’s campaign apparently hasn’t learned: Never count out this highly unpredictable president.


14 Responses to “Florida Politics: U. S. Sen Bill Nelson Can’t Count On Anti-Trump Voters”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    This race between Scott and Nelson judging by polls etc that have been done every, every singe one have this race very close.So who wins , who loses to close to call.Maybe by Labor Day things may be different.But i would not bet the rent Scott is a shoe in.No way.Alot that happens between now and Labor Day will be easier to predict.Right now, who knows..Trump could very easily help Scott or hurt him .Big gamble in my opinion.Bob Mueller investigation wraps up and heads roll than i assure u Nelson chances get better.If i was Nelson i would get real cozy with Mueller office.( on the QT- naturally)..

  2. Just One Vote says:

    Not impressed with Scott in the senate but one vote out of 100 minimizes the influence. Imagine had Charlie Crist just run and have won his second term as guv HE would be running for the senate and likely win. Six years is a long time and Nelson is not a senate mover and shaker. Rubio will be the senior senator. I will either skip this line or vote Scott. All the more reason for term limits.

  3. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    I’ve written to Nelson’s office in the past and usually got replies that were either innocuous or had no relation to the issue I wrote about. It’s time for a change, and I hope we don’t get a fictitious October surprise. I don’t believe most of what the left produces.

  4. Talks like a politician says:

    Bill Nelson’s camera hogging performance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas was inane. He acted like he had all the information about the killer, but most of what he said was fake news, example: the gas mask angle. Then, he went back to DC and participated in slowing down the government by marching in lock step with the Pelosi/Schumer sheep.

    Since there are no term limits for politicians like Bill Nelson, how about a mandatory retirement time/age? 25 years is way too long for most do nothing gas bags to “serve”. After so many years, the politicians don’t listen to voters and voters pay no attention to the same old same old politician.

  5. Observation says:

    My concern is that there has been no response by Nelson to the lie being put all over the airwaves and cable that he always votes the party line. Nelson is a centrist Democrat, for better or worse, and was not in fact a guaranteed vote for Obama’s position, for example.

  6. Patti Lynn says:

    Senator Bill Nelson is supporting the Stoneman Douglas students’ efforts for comprehensive laws regarding gun purchases/possession/ownership. He also has supported those individuals who work for a living,that includes me. He has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve the Everglades, which directly impacts the quality of our water supply. He has NEVER flip-flopped, but has ALWAYS fought against oil drilling off of the coast of Florida. Senator Nelson does not jump up and down in an effort to draw attention to himself. He just quietly perseveres in his efforts to protect his constituents, protect the environment, and preserve our quality of life. He has my support.

  7. SCOWL says:

    To Patti Lynn:

    Senator Nelson has dropped the ball whenever possible. He ABSOLUTELY has flip flopped regarding off-shore drilling, and it is clear as day:


    As far as gun control goes, he failed to support it when Obama was President and the democrats controlled the House and the Senate. Of course, at that time it wasn’t politically expedient for him. With Nelson, Florida has in effect had only one Senator all these years. He is truly useless.

  8. Jack Mss says:

    Bill Nelson has always been an empty suit in every office that he has held. He clearly represents the Democrat Party … a bunch of old white people tied to the past.

  9. Turncoat D’s says:

    With so many Broward Democrats operatives supporting Scott in the wake of the shootings at MSD it is not surprising that Scott has an edge. Let’s get to work!

  10. Thinker says:

    The economy may be booming but Scott has done nothing to improve healthcare or education. Under his leadership the number of uninsured Floridians has soared and funding per pupil as dropped (unless you count security funding)

    Scott has left Broward Health’s Board in despite indictment and tried to sell the place off to his friends until he got caught and had to back off because of a suicide.

  11. Sober as a Judge says:

    Buddy, I sense that very few Democrats in Florida support the president with many feeling offended by his leadership.

    Among Florida Independents I sense that the majority aligning with the views of Democrats as it relates to the President but also some do support the President.

    Among Florida Republicans I sense that about half support the President and the other half are kind of embarrassed by him.

    I also see young people more enthused about voting and they lean decidedly left in their views as a group. I also see thousands of new Floridians from Puerto Rico having an impact in both South and Central Florida that were not there before last summer. They likewise lean strongly to the left in their views.

    If all that is even close to correct, and if voter turnout in November is otherwise about the same as it was during the last mid-term election, shouldn’t we expect Florida to turn decidedly toward Democrats this coming November?

  12. Disappointed says:


    I agree that Nelson has been an “empty suit.” Additionally, we never see or hear from him unless he is running for reelection.

    I can’t stand Scott or anybody associated with Trump. I can’t bring myself to vote for a zero like Nelson. I will not vote for senate this time around.

  13. NW Broward MODO says:

    1978 Ford Pinto AKA Bill Nelson?

    The Bill Nelson whose advisors are teen “survivors” who drown out the voices of their black classmates who were in the 1200 building?

  14. sonly says:

    Let’s hope the women of the state wake up and vote for the democrat-
    The U.S. senate and house need BIG change, moving forward.

    Too bad a woman isn’t running for senate…
    I guess we’ll have to wait for Rubio’s opponent.