Florida’s Bill Nelson Wins Third U.S. Senate Term

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: November 6, 2012 9:30 PM
Bill Nelson

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson | Credit: topics.pnj.com/

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., 70, has won a third term, claiming some 55 percent of the vote with 54 percent of the Sunshine State’s precincts reporting their vote tallies. Four-term Republican congressman Connie Mack IV pulled in about 42 percent of the vote total.

Nelson’s victory probably comes as a surprise to very few observers. Nelson led Mack in virtually every single pre-Election Day poll, and was projected by RealClearPolitics to defeat Mack, of Fort Myers, by about 6 percentage points. On Oct. 30, Mack’s campaign predicted the congressman would win a close race by about 49 to 48 percentage points.

In spite of his attack on Nelson's voting record supporting Obamacare, Mack never got any traction. He seems to have suffered from less-than-stellar enthusiasm, even from many Republicans. For example, he received just 64 percent of the votes in staunchly conservative Clay County, where Romney received 72 percent.

“I am thankful to the Lord, and I am humbled by the support of the people of Florida,” Nelson said in a victory statement. “Grace [his wife] and I are grateful for this continued privilege of public service. I’d like to say that Connie Mack was my opponent – not my enemy. These days the extremists in our political system try to divide. We need to unify. I promise tonight to continue to try and break that partisan gridlock.”

With a 93 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, Mack has earned a reputation as a staunch conservative, while Nelson has successfully cast himself as a moderate liberal.

Attempts to contact the Mack campaign were unsuccessful.

Reach Eric Giunta at egiunta@sunshinestatenews.com or at (954) 235-9116.

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