MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd spotlighted Sen. Bill Nelson's (D., Fla.) struggles during his re-election bid on Thursday, saying the embattled lawmaker committed "two unforced errors" over the past week.
"While a lot of Democrats are having a very good week—remember Tuesday night?—Florida Senator Bill Nelson is not one of them," Todd said on "Meet The Press Daily."
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Todd pointed out Nelson hit 2018 Republican opponent Rick Scott over an algae bloom crisis by criticizing a past position he held himself: lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency to delay imposing stricter water standards. Nelson later said he "did not recall" writing the EPA with a similar request in 2010, leading the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC to rip Nelson as "no longer dealing from a full deck."
Nelson also told the Tampa Bay Times this week the Russians had already penetrated some Florida voter systems. However, Florida election officials contradicted him and said they had received no information from Nelson, nor from federal authorities, to support those claims.
"Obviously, if true, this would be not just a big story. A major story," Todd said. "But with no evidence to back it up, it just raises a lot of questions."
"Florida's a prime opportunity for Republicans to pick up a Senate seat in November. Bill Nelson needs to be playing error-free ball against a billionaire [sic,]" Todd said. "Well, this week he had two unforced errors."
Florida is one of several key races with major implications for control of the Senate. Republicans have a formidable challenger to Nelson in Scott, Florida's two-term governor. In one of the most expensive states in the country to campaign in, Scott has two significant assets: personal wealth and high name recognition.
Recent polling shows Scott holding a small lead over Nelson. Republican President Donald Trump narrowly won Florida over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) cruised to re-election that same year.