Wasserman Schultz Suggests Nelson Shouldn't Quit Despite Recount Results

November 15, 2018

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) suggested Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) should not give up on winning the Florida Senate race despite a machine recount showing him losing ground to Florida governor Rick Scott, with a margin of over 12,000 votes separating the candidates.

MSNBC host Chuck Todd asked Wasserman Schultz at what point the deficit is too big to overcome.

"At what point do you say 12,000—that's a big number—at what point is it appropriate to say, you know what, I can't win, the numbers aren't there. I don't know the recount—I can't think of a recount that found that many votes. And they've gone through the machines. They haven't found a machine error. So at this point, how would you be handling this?" asked Todd.

"At the point that every vote lawfully cast is counted," Wasserman Schultz replied. "And look, we have some pretty significant PTSD from 18 years ago in 2000 when we had a president who was actually selected by the U.S. Supreme Court, than by the voters of Florida. Had we had a real recount, a full and thorough recount, we probably would have had a different outcome.

"If you're less than a quarter percent, which the Ag Commissioner race and the U.S. Senate race are, then you go through a manual recount. You don't go through all the ballots. You go through the ballots that had a problem or an issue. And that's what each county will be doing," Wasserman Schultz added.

The Florida Senate race is headed to a hand recount after a machine recount showed Scott was still leading by a less than 0.25 percent margin. Scott gained 41 votes in the recount and now leads Nelson by 12,603 votes. The deadline to complete the hand recount is Sunday.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum gained one vote on Republican Ron DeSantis, with the latter leading by 33,683 votes, a margin greater than 0.25 percent. Gillum has still refused to concede.

Recount studies of the 2000 election have shown that former President George W. Bush would likely have won a statewide recount of undervotes, but Gore probably would have won a recount of all undervotes and overvotes because estimates found more Democrats incorrectly marked their ballot for multiple candidates. Gore's campaign did not pursue that course in court.