Florida Republicans called on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson Wednesday to support President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and state GOP chairman Blaise Ingoglia said rank-and-file Florida Republican voters are energized by Trump's pick. Gaetz said the D.C. appellate judge has a track record of supporting limited government regulation of business and that
"it's clear he will defend unborn life."
"The base is extremely excited about this opportunity," said Ingoglia, who cited a new Tarrance poll of Florida voters that showed 56 percent are supportive of Nelson voting to confirm Trump's nominee.
The poll was conducted by the Tarrance Group for a pro-life organization, Susan B. Anthony List.
Nelson's first statement, immediately after the pick was announced, took a wait-and-see approach.
I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh to discuss his views on several issues such as protecting women's rights, guaranteeing access to health care for those with pre-existing conditions & protecting the right to vote, just to name a few. I’ll make my decision after that.— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) July 10, 2018
Ingoglia dismissed the idea that in a very close Senate race between Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott, no-party voters, many of whom are young, may lean pro-choice and prefer a senator who opposes Kavanaugh. Many no-party voters stay home in midterm elections in Florida, Ingoglia said.
"The longer Democrats drag this out, the better it is for Republicans," Ingoglia said.