Recounts are underway in Florida in close races for senate and governor.
In the Senate race, Governor Rick Scott narrowly leads incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, while Republican Ron DeSantis leads Democrat Andrew Gillum in the gubernatorial race.
Both GOP leads are narrow enough that counties are reviewing the votes.
This is controversial. Legal threats and accusations of fraud quickly rose to match calls for the recount.
The concerted effort by Republicans in Washington and Florida to discredit the state’s recount as illegitimate and potentially rife with fraud reflects a cold political calculation: Treat the recount as the next phase of a campaign to secure the party’s majority and agenda in the Senate.
That imperative — described by Republican lawyers, strategists and advisers involved in the effort — reflects the G.O.P.’s determination to tighten its hold on power in the narrowly divided Senate. The outcome of the Florida race will decide whether the party controls as many as 53 seats and has a freer hand to confirm Republican-backed judges with the vote of the man at the center of the recount, Gov. Rick Scott, who is trying to oust a three-term Democrat, Bill Nelson.
With the Democrats capturing a Republican-held Senate seat in Arizona on Monday night, the recount fight in Florida becomes even more consequential.
Critics have called Scott’s response dictatorial, while the president has accused Democrats of trying to steal the elections.
And it looks like some counties won’t be able to meet the deadline for the recount, meaning this could drag on beyond this week.
With the disputes over numbers and counting continuing, we get the latest.
Caitlin Switalski, Broward County reporter, WLRN; @caitielee0917
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