Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott is challenging Democrat Bill Nelson for the U.S. Senate this fall. Nelson has been in office since 2001. The GOP believes this is one of the seats they can pick up and they have good reasons to think so.

Scott currently has a very slim lead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls, but more importantly, he is polling well in key demographics in the state.

Anthony Man reports at the Sun-Sentinel:

Rick Scott leads Bill Nelson in poll of South Florida Hispanic voters

Gov. Rick Scott has a slight lead over U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson among Hispanic voters in South Florida, a new poll finds.

The WSCV-TELEMUNDO 51 Poll found Republican Scott with support of 42 percent of Hispanic likely voters in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Democrat Nelson has 39 percent.

Another 19 percent of South Florida Hispanics were undecided.

The poll of South Florida Hispanic voters was conducted over landlines and cellphones June 24-29 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy. The Jacksonville-based firm is a highly regarded polling firm, and it has a “B+” grade in the poll ratings from the political data website Fivethirtyeight.com…

Multiple polls have shown the Scott-Nelson race is a nail biter, and Hispanic voters are a significant voting bloc in Florida. Results from the southern part of the state don’t necessarily indicate what will happen in other areas, such as Central Florida with its growing Puerto Rican population.

A recent statewide poll of Puerto Ricans had good news for Scott: He was better known than Nelson and had higher approval ratings.

Among Cuban-Americans, Scott is ahead 58 percent to 30 percent, with 12 percent undecided.

Scott is also sitting on a massive and growing campaign war chest which has Democrats rightly concerned.

Matt Dixon writes at Politico:

Democrats fret as Scott’s cash haul comes into full view

Democrats up and down the midterm ticket in Florida are starting to worry as they look at the green wave of cash that Florida Gov. Rick Scott is taking in for his U.S. Senate campaign.

“He’s putting up the type of numbers that can tilt the whole playing field,” said state Rep. Evan Jenne, a Democrat from deep blue Broward County…

The surge to Scott’s campaign, as documented in new campaign finance reports, puts stress on national Democrats eager to knock him off. Groups like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are fighting Senate battles in swing states across the country, but will need to keep serious resources in Florida to help counter Scott’s spending.

Scott, a Republican worth $232 million, and two committees supporting his bid raised just over $20 million last quarter, according to new campaign finance reports. That number does not include the personal money Scott has likely put into his campaign, a number that has not yet been reported.

Scott’s official campaign alone raised $10.7 million, a massive quarterly haul, according to campaign finance reports filed this week.

If Scott wins, Marco Rubio will become the senior U.S. senator in Florida. It’s a nightmare scenario for Democrats that is looking more likely to become a reality.

Featured image via YouTube.