Reems Landreth

The races for U.S. Senate, Florida governor, and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture all fell within the 0.5 percent margin of difference, which by law forces an automatic recount in the state of Florida. 

According to, “Florida state law provides for automatic recounts when the margin of victory for a given office or measure is equal to or less than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast for that office or measure. If the margin of victory is equal to or less than 0.25 percent, a hand recount is ordered (automatic tabulators are otherwise used).”

The race for U.S. Senate is being recounted after Republican Rick Scott received 4,098,107 votes (50.07 percent) and Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson received 4,085,545 (49.92 percent). 

The Florida governor’s race is being recounted after the Republican ticket of DeSantis / Nuñez received 4,075,879 votes (49.59 percent) while the Democratic ticket of Gillum / King received 4,042,195 votes (49.18 percent). 

The race for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture is the third election in recount as Democrat Nicole “Nikki” Fried received 4,030,337 votes (50.03 percent) while Republican Matt Caldwell received 4,025,011 votes (49.97 votes). 

“Florida has never had a full statewide recount. It’s about to have three,” Andrew Weinstein, the national chairman of the Democratic Lawyers Council, tweeted.      

The Political Science department hosted a bipartisan watch party on election night which started at 5:30 p.m. and ran until 10 p.m. The night focused on 34 political science students who participated in 16 different presentations discussing key races across the country. 

Junior Carson Mitchell, a Political Science and Political Communications double major, presented with Jessica Davis on the sixth congressional district of Illinois. Mitchell and Davis presented the race between Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Sean Casten where they correctly predicted that Casten will replace Roskam in 2019. 

Mitchell said that the midterm watch party was “a lot calmer this year because it was not a presidential election.”  She went on to say that this was because not as many people care about the midterm elections even though voting is important because the Florida is looking at less than a 30,000 vote difference, “so every vote really does matter.” 

For the U.S. House of Representatives District 15 seat, Republican Ross Spano defeated Democrat Kristen Carlson by 6 percent. 

Republican Ashley Moody defeated Democrat Sean Shaw by 6 percent while Republican Jimmy Patronis defeated Democrat Jeremy Ring by 3.5 percent for the position of Chief Finance Officer. 

13 Amendments for the Florida Constitution were voted on with 12 of the  13 passing with the minimum 60 percent requirement. 

Constitutional Amendment one, focusing on the increased homestead property tax exemption, failed with only 58 percent of the population voting yes. 

All other Amendments and Revisions passed with at least the 60 percent threshold. 

The most-discussed amendments were Constitutional Amendment 4, which restored felon voting rights; Revision 9, which places bans on offshore drilling and indoor vaping; Revision 12, which limits lobbying and the abuse of office post-term and Revision 13, which will end dog racing by 2020.


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