Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Republican challenger Congressman Connie Mack went head-to-head Wednesday night in their only debate before the Nov. 6 election, and NBC 6 viewers say Mack was the winner in our debate survey.
In response to the question "Who do you think won the Senate debate?" Mack garnered 61.22 percent of the vote compared to 33.97 percent for Nelson. Another 4.81 percent said neither won.
The debate, held at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, was heavy on talking points and personal smears. Mack attacked Nelson on his voting record, saying that the Democrat has stood with President Barack Obama 98 percent of the time instead of standing with the people of the Sunshine State.
For his part, Nelson accused Mack of having one of the worst attendance records in Congress, saying he has missed 178 votes this year.
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Commenters on NBC 6's Facebook page echoed Mack's criticism of Nelson.
"Bill Nelson the ultimate Washington insider and one of Obama's biggest lapdogs," Lawrence W Brady II wrote.
Nelson supporters were equally critical of Mack.
"Congressman Mack, tows the Republican Party line. and will not support the Dream Act, Who's he Pandering to?" Alan Kachin wrote.
The debate came as hundreds of thousands of people have already cast their votes with absentee ballots.
The race could have implications on the balance of power in the Senate. Republicans need to gain four seats to have a majority. Outside groups supporting both sides have spent millions of dollars trying to influence the Florida race.