Scott Leaning Towards a Senate Bid In Florida

“Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), in conversations with major Republican donors over the past week, has signaled that he is moving closer to challenging Sen. Bill Nelson and has mapped out financial and political plans that could guide his potential bid,” the Washington Post reports.

“Scott’s study of the race’s dynamics and his confidence that the veteran Democrat is vulnerable has led those donors to conclude that the governor is now leaning toward running, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss private exchanges.”

Said one donor: “He thinks Nelson isn’t ready for the velocity of a 2018 campaign.”

Scott Moves Towards Senate Bid In Florida

Politico: “In the clearest sign he’s ready to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has raised more than $1.1 million for a super PAC he recently revived and stocked it with top consultants from his previous campaigns. Privately, he’s talked up his good polling numbers, according to several supporters who have spoken to Scott recently.”

“A Scott bid would complicate Democratic hopes of winning back the Senate next year — of the 10 Democrats up for reelection in states carried by President Donald Trump, Nelson has been considered one of the most vulnerable.”

Rick Scott Still Not Sold on Senate Bid

New York Times: “And if other potential Republican Senate recruits are daunted by the forbidding political environment, it could hamper their ability to win some of the Democratic-controlled seats they have been eyeing for months. In Florida, for example, advisers to Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he was mindful of the midterm climate and was not yet sold on challenging Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).”

Florida Senate Race Shaping Up as Epic Battle

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) went to Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) this summer with an urgent plea, Politico reports.

“Florida’s Democratic Party was in disarray after the 2016 presidential debacle, the senator said, and he needed help from D.C. to prepare for a likely challenge next year by GOP Gov. Rick Scott, who’s spent at least $86 million of his own fortune on his two gubernatorial campaigns.”

“Nelson told the group that Democrats desperately needed to catch up on field staff in Florida, especially in the wake of the presidential and Senate race results last year that saw Republican-leaning voters flood the polls and took even plugged-in Democrats by surprise.”

Rubio Challenges Murphy to Six Debates

Hours after a dominating primary win, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a Wednesday morning challenge to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL): face off in six live televised debates, including one on Spanish-language TV, Politico reports.

“In challenging his rival, Rubio is cutting against the conventional wisdom for winning campaigns, which usually seek to minimize on-stage debates with trailing rivals. Rubio has led Murphy in the last nine polls taken since July 1.”

Trump Appears to Be Hurting Rubio

A new Quinnipiac poll finds Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) with a three-point lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 45%.

Last month, Rubio led by 13 points.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “At this stage of the campaign, Republican U.S. Senate candidates may be running against their own presidential nominee, Donald Trump, as much as they are against their Democratic opponents. The incumbent U.S. senators seeking re-election are running better than Trump. But if Trump continues to lag behind in the presidential race, that will make it more difficult for GOP candidates, logic holds, up and down the ballot.”

GOP Has Upper Hand In Florida Senate Race

Politico: “Now, Republicans smell blood in the water, and they’re looking to damage Murphy so badly that Democrats are forced to spend heavily on his behalf ahead of the state’s Aug. 30 primary — or abandon the race altogether. The GOP is adopting a strategy that’s been used against it repeatedly in recent election cycles: Propping up a politically toxic, outside-the-mainstream candidate in the other party’s primary, in this case firebrand liberal Rep. Alan Grayson.”

“The reversal of fortunes in Florida could hardly have come at a better time for Republicans, after weeks of negative headlines about their presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, and increasing concerns about a down-ballot disaster for the party.”

Murphy Embellished His Business Background

CBS Miami digs into Rep. Patrick Murphy’s (D-FL) background as the likely Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Florida:

A CBS4 News investigation into Murphy’s history as both a CPA and a self-described small business owner, however, shows Murphy has in some cases exaggerated his experience and in other instances made claims that were misleading or outright false.

For instance, he has never worked a day in his life as a Certified Public Accountant.

And he was never a small business owner.

Rubio Decides Senate Is Better Path to White House

Harry Enten: “Marco Rubio’s decision to run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat, which he announced Wednesday morning, gives Republicans a boost in their bid to retain control of the Senate. But it also sheds light on how Rubio views his political future and how Republican Senate candidates in swing states might act toward Donald Trump.”

Washington Post: Inside the Republican courtship of Marco Rubio

Interestingly, Smart Politics notes that since 1972, “all seven sitting U.S. Senators who ran for reelection in the cycle of their failed presidential bid won another term – each by double digits.”