On Tuesday night, we saw the Democrats meet or exceed expectations all across the nation – except in Florida, where the results in the race for Governor and Senator made no sense. The outcome didn’t add up, and the numbers involved in the outcome really didn’t add up. Palmer Report ran the headline “What the hell just happened in Florida?” Sure enough, the discrepancies keep surfacing, and the vote totals keep getting revised. Now we’re entering recount territory – and yes, Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson can indeed still win.
The key here is that there’s a difference between an automatic recount and a petitioned recount. Back in 2016, when Donald Trump’s “wins” in a few key swing states made zero mathematical sense, he was conveniently just outside the margin which would have triggered a legally mandated automatic recount. So the “recounts” we saw in 2016 were by petition, which meant they had to be crowdfunded. And then, just when it looked like the recounts were uncovering some things, the Republicans went to court and got them shut down. But these 2018 recounts in Florida are a very different story.
As the updated vote totals now stand, Bill Nelson is close enough to Rick Scott that a hand recount will be done, while Andrew Gillum is close enough to Ron DeSantis that a machine recount will be done. I can tell you from experience that a hand recount is far more likely to catch a large number of miscounted votes, and thus far more likely to change the winner. But if Gillum can keep closing in, he could end up getting a hand recount as well.
These recounts are the real deal. Bill Nelson has released a statement saying that he believes he’ll be named the winner. Andrew Gillum is walking back his original concession speech. If you’re in Florida and you want to get involved, you can contact the campaigns and offer your services as a recount observer. I couldn’t tell you the odds of the results being overturned in Florida, but they’re certainly high enough that this is worth fighting for.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report