Bill Nelson kicks off his fall campaign with a joint appearance yesterday with Democratic Governor candidate Andrew Gillum….
Gillum has gotten a TON of media as a Democratic candidate who, with a win would become the first Black Florida Governor….
Nelson is trailing Republican Governor Rick Scott in the polling for his seat next year….
Scott, the Republican is actually doing well with Black and Hispanic voters, something one would think Nelson would have going for him…
Democrats and Nelson’s allies say the senator is set to mount an aggressive campaign against Scott, targeting his record on matters like the environment – a crucial issue in a state that depends heavily on ecotourism to fuel its economy – as well as health care and public education.
“It’s never going to be comfortable,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist who advised Charlie Crist (D) in his failed 2014 bid against Gov. Scott.
“Whether Scott was on TV or not, just the nature of the race nobody should have felt good about. That doesn’t mean Bill’s not going to win. He could absolutely win. But there’s never going to be a moment when this race isn’t neck and neck. It’s never going to be easy.”
Nelson has also reserved $18 million in TV advertising through Election Day, while Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC aligned with Senate Democratic leadership, and its affiliated nonprofit Majority Forward have also reserved $23 million in the fall.
“I suspect that within a week or so, you’re going to hear people saying a lot less that Nelson’s not doing anything,” Schale said.
Meanwhile, the senator could get a boost from Gillum, who is vying to become Florida’s first black governor, in what could be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Gillum has shown an ability to reach out to minority and progressive white voters, notching his biggest wins on Tuesday in counties where African-American voters make up sizable portions of the electorate, like Broward and Miami-Dade in South Florida and Duval County in the north.
Nelson, with his reputation as an old-school senator, could also help boost Gillum by helping fuel turnout among moderate Democrats and independents – voting blocs that Gillum will need if he hopes to beat Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in November….