The Slatest

Florida’s Senate Race Is Headed Into a Recount

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaking in Florida after declaring victory in the senate race.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to supporters as he declares victory in his senate race during his election night party in Naples, Florida
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida’s Senate race seems to be heading to a recount, barring any drastic twists. Republican Rick Scott is up about 35,000 votes on incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. While a solid lead, that’s still less than 0.5 percent, the margin threshold that automatically triggers a recount under Florida law.

Scott had already declared victory overnight, unlike two other senatorial candidates currently ahead in too-close-to-call races: Martha McSally in Arizona and Matt Rosendale in Montana. An adviser for Bill Nelson said Scott was the likely winner Tuesday night as well, but the campaign said Wednesday morning after results narrowed that it would request a recount.

“We are proceeding to a recount,” Nelson said in a statement.

The recount is unlikely to change the outcome—after all, when Florida recounted its votes in the 2000 presidential election, George W. Bush’s lead shrunk from about 1,800 votes to, by the end, fewer than 600.

“This race is over,” a Scott spokesman said in a statement. “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.”