Gov. Rick Scott’s aggressive campaign strategy in the race for the U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson appears to be paying off with older voters. Meanwhile, Scott supporters announce another major media buy.
A poll conducted for Politico/AARP and released Monday morning shows Scott with a 9-point lead over Nelson among voters aged 50 and older. Among that age group, Scott holds a 44 percent to 35 percent lead over Nelson.
There is some debate whether an increased interest and political movement among young people in Florida in the aftermath of the Parkland school shootings people might counter the the impact of older voters this year.
But, even with Scott’s aggressive campaign style, Nelson is holding his own in overall surveys, considering he is being greatly outspent in political ads. The Politico/AARP survey shows Scott holding a 1-percent lead — 40 percent to 39 percent.
The overall survey included 1,199 register voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. The survey of voters 50 and older involved 676 voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
A poll recently released by the Florida Chamber of Commerce shows Scott with a 5-point lead — 48 percent to 43 percent.
The polls come as a political action committee announces it is about to launch a $3.5 million advertising buy that will include both television and digital. The ad (see below) is called “Timeline” and focuses on Nelson’s career in politics starting in 1972 in an ongoing attempt to paint Nelson as a career politician. The spot claims Nelson voted to raise taxes and cut social security during his years in office.
“After 45 years, it’s time to term limit Bill Nelson,” the narrator says in the spot.
The latest ad campaign is being paid for by the New Republican PAC, a political committee founded by Scott.
The $3.5 million ad buy is in addition to the more than $12 million already spent by the Scott and his support groups on campaign ads since he entered the race on April 9 and reflects the amount of money that could end up being spent in the race, especially by Scott.
Nelson has received outside help from two groups — the Senate Majority PAC (SMP) and Priorities USA Action — which have combined to finance nearly $3 million in ads for Nelson. That has been the extent of Nelson’s media buy thus far. Although, a new report by the Tampa Bay Times says SMP has placed a “seven-figure” ad buy for Nelson in Florida. It’s part of an $80 million ad buy the political committee is making in Florida and eight other states.
The numbers attest to the large amount of money it will take to win the race. It’s been projected that, at this pace, the contest in Florida could go down as the most expensive in U.S. Senate history, with some estimates putting the price tag at over $200 million.