Liz: Florida can (re)count on me

Woos swing-state Dems with fight to re­verse Nel­son’s loss

Boston Herald - - NEWS - — joe.bat­ten­feld@boston­her­ald.com Joe BAT­TEN­FELD

That didn’t take long. Just days af­ter her re-elec­tion win in Mas­sachusetts, U.S. Sen. Eliz­a­beth War­ren turned her eyes to the pres­i­den­tial swing state of Florida, mak­ing a pitch to raise mon- ey for a Se­nate re­count.

It’s the lat­est in a se­ries of moves by War­ren to in­ject her­self into an im­por­tant pres­i­den­tial pri­mary state.

War­ren sent a fundrais­ing ap­peal to her sup­port­ers, urg­ing them to do­nate to help Demo­cratic Sen. Bill Nel­son’s bid for a re­count in his nar­row loss on elec­tion night to Repub­li­can Rick Scott.

“Bill Nel­son will need an army of vol­un­teers and lawyers to make sure ev­ery vote is counted fairly,” she wrote. “And Bill Nel­son’s cam­paign has al­ready spent ev­ery penny it could to get peo­ple to the polls on Tues­day. Will you dig deep one more time to sup­port Bill Nel­son’s cam­paign?”

War­ren is hop­ing the an­swer is yes, but her mo­tives seem less than self­less. She’s ea­ger to help out Nel­son and Florida Demo- crats to gain im­por­tant brownie points in the party for her own ex­pected White House cam­paign.

Florida is an in­flu­en­tial early pri­mary state and has long been a cru­cial bat­tle­ground in pres­i­den­tial con­tests. War­ren is hop­ing her fundrais­ing pitch for Nel­son will be re­mem­bered by Florida Democrats in 2020.

War­ren can af­ford to help out Nel­son. The Mas­sachusetts sen­a­tor barely touched the $15 mil­lion in her own cam­paign cof­fers in her suc­cess­ful bid to beat back a chal­lenge from Repub­li­can Ge­off Diehl. War­ren didn’t even make a net­work TV ad buy in her re-elec­tion bid, and still got more than 60 per­cent of the vote.

Nel­son is about 15,000 votes be­hind Scott, ac­cord­ing the lat­est tally, which would trig­ger an au­to­matic re­count. But it would still be a long shot.

War­ren told her sup­port­ers “it could make all the dif­fer­ence in the world” if Nel­son wins back his Se­nate seat -even though Democrats would still be in the mi­nor­ity if the Florida Demo­crat won a re­count.

“Don’t for­get: One vote in the Se­nate last year saved health care for tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans. And if we rack up one more win this year, we’ll be that much closer to tak­ing back the Se­nate in 2020 and be­yond,” she wrote in the fundrais­ing email. “Con­trol­ling the Se­nate could come down to one race -- and help­ing Bill Nel­son win this year could clinch it.”

That seems to be a stretch, but when it comes to fundrais­ing, War­ren is usu­ally not very sub­tle. She even raised money for her own cam­paign off the Brett Ka­vanaugh Supreme Court con­fir­ma­tion vote -- a move that raised eye­brows and trig­gered an ethics com­plaint by a watch­dog group.

AP

NANCY LANE / BOS­TON HER­ALD FILE

SUN­SHINE STATE PITCH: U.S. Sen. Eliz­a­beth War­ren, ask­ing her sup­port­ers to con­trib­ute to the re­count ef­fort of U.S. Sen. Bill Nel­son (D-Fla.), wrote that he “will need an army of vol­un­teers and lawyers to make sure ev­ery vote is counted fairly,” Be­low, a bal­lot is shown on a pro­jec­tor at the Broward County Su­per­vi­sor of Elec­tions of­fice yes­ter­day in Lauderhill, Fla.

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