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this incumbent is more vulnerable than you may think

Michael Ahrens - March 12, 2018

When you think of vulnerable Senate Democrats that are running for re-election, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) usually isn’t toward the top of the list. But he probably should be.

No Name-ID Nelson: Despite being their senator for 17 years, a staggering 49% of Florida voters don’t know who he is. And it won’t be cheap for him to introduce himself to them, either. Politico’s Marc Caputo notes that it costs roughly $3 million to run a week’s worth of TV ads statewide.

Missed opportunity: Nelson had a chance to up his favorability ratings with voters at a CNN town hall, but was widely criticized for politicizing the event.

A milquetoast career politician: Nelson has never really faced a serious challenger before, and he’s not a particularly exciting figure for a base that Democrats will need to turn out in November. He can’t count on support from Republicans, independents, or moderate Democrats, either – new Axios polling shows that most Floridians favor the Republican tax cuts and they’re more optimistic about the economy than they were a year ago. They won’t be crediting Nelson for either of those, since he voted no on the tax cuts and has joined Chuck Schumer in obstructing the administration at nearly every turn.


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