MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When election season began, many Republicans pointed to Florida Senator Bill Nelson as a possible seat that could flip to the GOP in 2012.
But that didn’t turn out to be the case as the Associated Press has called the race and declared Senator Bill Nelson the winner of another six-year term in the Senate.
Senator Nelson has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past and had a large campaign war chest when the election got underway. The Republican Party struggled to identify a candidate in the beginning until Representative Connie Mack IV stepped in to challenge Nelson.
On name recognition alone, Mack seemed like a good choice for the GOP. The Republican Party quickly got behind Mack and other candidates either dropped out of the race or decided to run for other offices leaving Mack to face Nelson in the general election.
Mack’s plan throughout the campaign was to link Nelson to President Barack Obama and his policies. The race initially looked like it was going to be a nail-biter as Mack jumped in the polls right after announcing his candidacy to within a few points of Nelson.
But as election season wore on, Mack struggled to keep his momentum and Nelson eventually began to pull ahead by a comfortable lead in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Nelson led Mack between 4 and 9 points in the final weeks of the campaign.