Election Results for Florida U.S. Senate, Gubernatorial race on Nov. 6, 2018

Nelson, Scott battle for Senate; DeSantis, Gillum battle for Governor

Getty Images via CNN

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) speaks during a campaign rally at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades on Aug.31, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.

MIAMI - Florida is emerging as an epicenter of the nation’s polarizing politics in the final days of the 2018 campaign.

In the closely contested campaign for governor, President Donald Trump and GOP nominee Ron DeSantis have used what has been called racially coded language to slam Democrat Andrew Gillum. The battles for the governor’s mansion and a key U.S. Senate seat are playing out in communities still recovering from a killer hurricane and one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.

Virtually every hot-button cultural issue tearing at the nation — including guns, race and the environment — is unfolding in a deeply personal way here.

That’s a sharp change in a state where elections notoriously come down to the wire. Politicians in both parties traditionally focus on winning over moderate voters, especially those living along Interstate 4 in the shadow of Disney World, to eke out a win. Not so in the Trump era as each side scrambles to mobilize its strongest supporters.

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