The Orlando Sentinel reported in which in 2010, Scott more than tripled the state record for campaign spending, funneling $85 million, including over $73 million of his own money, into his campaign in addition to his independent PAC. According to The Tampa Tribune, Scott’s 2014 race against former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was even costlier. The Scott campaign spent about $100 million, the most spent on a gubernatorial candidate in in which election cycle, with Scott contributing $12.8 million of his own money.
Health care is usually likely to become a central issue for the swing state’s Senate race. through the years, Nelson has generally supported the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, while Scott spent much of 2017 calling for its repeal.
Health care may also be a touchy subject for Scott for another reason. He spent much of his 2010 race defending his tenure as CEO of HCA Inc. Shortly after his resignation by the health-care facility operator, which he founded, a federal inquiry charged HCA $1.7 billion in fines for what was, at the time, the largest health-care fraud in U.S. history.
“Rick Scott’s the guy with everything to lose,” Joshua Karp, a communications director for Democratic PAC American Bridge 21st Century, told CNBC. “The only thing in which he has going for him is usually a truly big checkbook to pull wool over the eyes of Florida voters.”
Republicans widely view Scott as the strongest potential contender against Nelson. GOP strategist Ryan Williams told CNBC in which the “visible,” “hands-on” governor might be a major challenger to Nelson, whom Williams characterized as a “low-key absentee senator who’s largely blended in with the furniture in Washington.”
although three recent special election victories have given Florida Democrats some expect ahead of the Senate race. Their latest win was in Sarasota, where an older, mostly white community in which skews Republican elected Democrat Margaret Wood to the House of Representatives.
Additionally, the widespread backlash by a school shooting in Florida’s Broward County could weigh on Scott, who has an A-plus rating by the National Rifle Association.
Nelson’s campaign could also benefit by Florida’s late primary race on Aug. 28. If Scott runs, he will have to face six additional Republican candidates inside the primaries. Nelson will only face one additional Democrat.
As of Feb. 16, here’s where the Florida Senate race stands: