Scott declares victory, but Florida Senate race still 'too close to call'

 wftv.com  11/7/2018 8:57:55 PM 

FLORIDA - The U.S. Senate race between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson is still statistically too close to call – despite Scott calling the race for himself Tuesday night.

Poll results are counting in at 50-50 with Scott pulling ahead slightly with less than 40,000 votes between them.

Eyewitness News is covering every angle of this huge story. Watch for reaction from both sides -- and how a recount would work -- LIVE on Channel 9 starting at 4 p.m.

Nelson put out a statement calling for a recount Wednesday morning. According to Florida law, an automatic recount is called if final numbers between the candidates tally in within 0.5 percent of each other. Nelson's campaign reported that Scott's lead is below that threshold at 0.4 percent.

A candidate themselves cannot call for a recount, according the state law. Only the Secretary of State can do so.

#BREAKING- RECOUNT: Bill Nelson’s staff declaring there will be a recount under state law, despite @scottforflorida claiming victory last night. Margin between the two is less than .5% pic.twitter.com/0eyX60FzOn

— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) November 7, 2018

"We are proceeding to a recount," Nelson said in a release.

Rick Scott's campaign responded that the race is over.

"It's a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career. He is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists," said Chris Hartline, spokesman for Scott for Florida.

In a speech to supporters in Naples just before midnight on Tuesday, Scott said he was confident in his victory.

"We've done this for over 200 years, and after these campaigns we come together and that’s what we're gonna do, we come together," he said.

"So thank you to all of you because everyone in this room has been a part of it.”

Nelson has not conceded the race, and never came out to speak to the crowd at his campaign watch party Tuesday night. 

Nelson has served in the Senate since 2001, and before that in Congress since 1979.

The Associated Press reported that Scott's margin as of Wednesday morning was less than one half of 1 percent.         

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to Channel 9 for updates.

“Let’s get to work!”- @ScottforFlorida declaring himself the newest Senator of Florida... unofficially. #wftv pic.twitter.com/CzkvUYyDtZ

— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) November 7, 2018

Based on guidelines from Florida Division of Elections, appears this could drag out until next week. 2nd set of unofficial returns from possible recount would not be required to be reported until Thursday, November 15.

— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) November 7, 2018

© 2018 Cox Media Group.

« Go back