Florida Dems fired up about dumping Scott in 2014; less talk about helping Nelson this yearby George Bennett | September 6th, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson faces a tough fight this fall that could determine which party controls the Senate, but the governor’s race two years from now inspired more passion at this week’s Florida delegation breakfasts at the Democratic National Convention.
Calls for President Obama‘s reelection were a surefire applause line for the many speakers who appeared before the hundreds of delegates and activists each morning. Calls for unseating Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 got nearly equal responses.
“Our task is not easy. And it’s not just this election. We need to help win for the president in Florida today, in November, we need to do that. We need to pick up legislative seats. But we need to keep that enthusiasm and organization going to defeat Rick Scott in 2014,” Democratic pollster David Beattie said at Wednesday’s breakfast.
“Boy, does Florida need a new governor,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said this morning at the beginning of his remarks.
When U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, wanted to inspire delegates to ward off a potential Republican trio, he didn’t mention Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Nelson challenger Connie Mack, but instead warned delegates today about “Romney, Ryan and Scott.”
Nelson got a few plugs, including one from fellow Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia when Warner spoke on Tuesday. Nelson himself was barely visible, stopping by the convention floor Tuesday afternoon before going back to Florida to campaign.
University of South Florida political scientist Susan MacManus, attending the convention as an analyst for a Tampa TV station, marveled at how little attention was given to Nelson’s race.
“I’ve never in all my years of following politics seen so much focus on the governor’s race when you have one of the premiere U.S. Senate races in the entire country in your back yard,” MacManus said.