Nelson Handily Defeats Mack
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., won reelection Tuesday, defeating GOP Rep. Connie Mack. ABC News and NBC News have both called the race for Nelson, only an hour after the polls closed in the Sunshine State.
Nelson is on pace to win comfortably despite a very competitive contest at the presidential level in the Sunshine State. Fueled by a huge fundraising advantage, Nelson never looked in serious trouble.
Nelson's campaign hit Mack with a brutal television spot, detailing Mack's past financial problems and some of his youthful indiscretions, including a bar fight with former Atlanta Braves outfielder Ron Gant.
Mack linked himself to Mitt Romney throughout the campaign, serving as a top Romney surrogate during the lead-up to Florida's presidential primary. But Mack consistently under-performed Romney in public polling, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee and many of the powerful outside conservative groups focused on other races rather than spending too much on Mack's behalf.
Mack emerged from a crowded but unremarkable GOP primary field. A late entrant, Mack emerged as a heavy favorite in the primary after a series of other high profile candidates, including former Sen. George LeMieux, failed to gain traction.