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Rick Scott claims victory in U.S. Senate race that's too close to call

Scott earned 50 percent of votes to Nelson's 49 percent

With only a slight lead over his opponent in a race that was too close to call, Florida Gov. Rick Scott claimed victory over Bill Nelson in the U.S. Senate race Tuesday night.

Scott delivered a speech shortly after 11 p.m. when he had 50 percent of the vote and Nelson had garnered 49 percent. Nelson had not conceded by that point, although his staff told News 6 that he would speak on Wednesday.

During his speech, Scott thanked his supporters and his family.

"Together we reinvented state government in Florida and we're going to do the same thing in D.C. The federal government is frustrating, it's outdated, it's wasteful and it's inefficient," Scott said.

Officials with Nelson's team said Tuesday night that not all votes had been counted because of polling problems.

"There are seven precincts in Broward County where the electronic systems failed and the ballots are being delivered by thumb drive, so the numbers are still up in the air," a spokesman for Nelson's campaign said.

Early Wednesday, numbers showed Scott's lead narrowing even more overnight, raising questions over the chances of a possible recount.

Florida law provides for automatic recounts when the margin of victory for the winner and runner-up for an office is equal to or less than .5 percent, according to Ballotpedia.org. If the margin of victory is equal to or less than .25 percent, the recount must be done by hand.

Meanwhile, numbers showed that whites with a college education were divided, and whites without a college degree were more likely to favor Scott.

Nelson led among black voters and also had an apparent advantage among Hispanic voters.

Voters under 45 preferred Nelson; those ages 45 and older were split.

Scott made the race the toughest for Nelson since he won office in 2000. Scott pumped more than $60 million of his own money into the campaign heading into the final week of campaigning.

Ron DeSantis will be Florida's next governor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.