Bill Nelson sees diversity as Democrats’ greatest asset in 2020
Former Sen. Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson's Senate recount
Former Senator predicts field will come together behind ultimate nominee.

Former Sen. Bill Nelson knows something about divisions among the Florida electorate.

The Democrat lost reelection to a fourth term in the Senate here after Republican Rick Scott bested him by 10,033 votes out of more than 8 million cast.

“Florida, as we all know, is a 50-50 state when it comes to the general election,” Nelson told Florida Politics.

The three-term senator could be found Thursday in Miami, like many of the party faithful, to watch the first Democratic Primary Debate.

With the first of the two-night event already concluded, Nelson feels positive about the expansive Democratic field of candidates.

The veteran Florida politician particularly celebrated the demographic makeup of contenders.

“The diversity we see on the stage is the key to winning Florida,” he said.

The state increasingly has developed a reputation not only for split partisan support but as home to a range of ethnicities.

“Increasingly, Florida is a very diverse state, and I think that the breadth of the party as represented by the various candidates on the stage is ultimately going to be well-received,” he said.

Nelson scoffs at suggestions by some that his loss last year proves Florida is not a swing state anymore.

The senator’s loss during a friendly year for Democrats was a large reason prognosticator site Sabato’s Crystal Ball chose to shade the Sunshine State red in its first 2020 projections.

“This decade, Florida has featured two presidential contests, three gubernatorial races, and one Senate race each decided by a margin of 1.2 points or less,” wrote Crystal Ball Managing Editor Kyle Kondik at the time. “The Republicans won all but one of those races. Are the Democrats just unlucky, or does the GOP have a very small but steady edge in Florida?”

But for Nelson, that doesn’t compute, considering the state had three statewide races go to recount.

The razor-thin divide between Nelson and Scott last year, in the former senator’s eyes, verified the state remains in play.

“You look at it, it’s a 50-50 state,” he said emphatically.

Having won and lost Florida, does Nelson have advice for the Democrats seeking the presidential nomination? He thinks candidates are already following the best direction he might give.

“Last night, you didn’t see a food fight,” he said. “You saw that people were very civil toward each other. I think that’s what you will see again tonight.”

Regardless, the party will need unity to defeat President Donald Trump next year. He has no doubt the contenders challenging the incumbent will do what’s required to win next November.

“At the end of the day, everybody is going to come together,” he predicted, “because all these Democrats are concerned about the direction of the country.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • rg

    June 27, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Nelson always the sell out illegal aliens before taxpayers.

    The current migration at our border is costing taxpayers a Kings ransom ($17,000 per day ABC news.) Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars.

    We have Democrat / Socialist / Activists in the Northern Triangle of South America & Mexico; even as you read this instructing the populations the “benefits” & laws of coming to the USA and to make sure you bring your children and use the the magic words…..”credible fear.” Mexico recently arrested two socialist activists who were instrumental in the organizing of prior caravans,

    Then you have a Democrat House saying the crisis is “manufactured” as literally thousands attack our border daily? National Sovereignty is a myth to Democrats. The crisis is manufactured…by the Democrats themselves. Make no mistake about this, Democrats want this to happen and never stop.. They will with hold border security support allowing as many illegal aliens to enter the country as possible overwhelming our BP & ICE before assisting in border security (if ever.).

    To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing “temporary or deferred” about these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt, against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great.

  • rg

    June 27, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Democrat 2020 Platform & Goals:

    -Open Borders.
    -Sanctuary Cities.
    -Elimination of ICE
    -Disarming Americans.
    -Voting rights for illegal aliens.
    -Pack the courts with radical liberal judges (Like the 9th circuit)
    -Increase refugee’s from the third world.
    -Illegal aliens allowed to hold public office.
    -Free Abortions for all (Taxpayer funded)
    -The green new deal.
    -End of Electoral College
    -Free Medicare care for all including non citizens (taxpayer funded)
    -Raise Minimum Wage
    -Have adolescents vote
    -!00% free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded)
    -Reparations for every race “harmed” by the white man.
    -Convicts, Terrorists voting.
    -Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms.
    -Late term abortions.
    -Pay check for every person in the US even if they choose not to work.

    Sources: Straight from the Democrat’s mouths.

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