The October surprise this year will be sprung upon both political parties in Florida with the arrival of Hurricane Michael, which is forecasted to make landfall along the panhandle on Wednesday.
With both contentious U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races being up for grabs, as polls show both contests being in virtual ties, the candidate’s focus is now on the storm.
So, will this storm ultimately frame these two races? Yes
As was the case with Hurricane Irma, Gov. Scott will have the advantage over Nelson because of his job is to prepare the state of all natural disasters.
But with the free earned media comes more scrutiny. And misstep by any state agency under his watch will be magnified in the press, and be targeted by Nelson.
Nelson will also garner media attention, but as much as Scott.
Outside of promising to garner federal aid to help with recovery efforts, there really isn’t much Nelson can do.
As for the two gubernatorial nominees, Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis, both men will have the opportunity to shine, as all eyes will be focused on how well they deal with this natural disaster.
This storm will be a trial run for the next governor of Florida.
A hurricane warning is now in effect from the Panhandle to the Nature Coast as #HurricaneMichael approaches. This storm is expected to produce life-threatening storm surge, winds and flooding. Listen to local officials and follow any evacuation orders. https://t.co/psxbTVc4Ai pic.twitter.com/vbbp6kgE5l
— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) October 8, 2018