By Jesse Byrnes
Florida senator: Trump will win big in state
Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonGOP puts shutdown squeeze play on Dems Overnight Healthcare: McConnell unveils new Zika package | Manchin defends daughter on EpiPens | Bill includes M for opioid crisis Dem to support spending bill despite no Flint aid MORE (D-Fla.) says his colleague Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSenate rivals gear up for debates Rubio: End of Obama's term could be 'most damaging yet' Fifteen years since pivotal executive order, STORM Act could help fight terror finance MORE (R-Fla.) is going to get crushed in their home state's GOP presidential primary.
Nelson predicted on "MSNBC Live with Kate Snow" on Wednesday that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPost piles on: ‘Beyond debate’ Trump is unfit for office Clinton, Netanyahu have ‘in-depth’ conversation about US-Israeli ties NYT lays out argument against Trump for president MORE "will win Florida by double digits."
"It's obvious," Nelson responded when asked why he thought so, noting recent polling and Trump's overtures in the state.
The Democratic senator said "the ground has shifted from underneath" Rubio — mostly toward Trump, but also toward Ted CruzTed CruzTrump enters new debate frontier Pence offers Cruz 'heartfelt thanks' for Trump endorsement Cruz: Trump hasn't apologized for personal insults MORE.
Nelson also predicted that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPost piles on: ‘Beyond debate’ Trump is unfit for office Clinton, Netanyahu have ‘in-depth’ conversation about US-Israeli ties NYT lays out argument against Trump for president MORE, whom he has long backed, will beat rival Bernie SandersBernie SandersClinton, Sanders to campaign together in New Hampshire Sanders discourages third-party votes: 'Not the time for a protest vote' Trump: Sanders supporters 'like Trump on trade, a lot' MORE in the state.
Trump leads Florida's GOP primary by more than 15 points over Rubio, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.
The state's winner-take-all primary March 15 will give 99 delegates to the winner.
Florida is viewed as Rubio's last stand in the GOP race. The senator has won just two contests, in Minnesota and Puerto Rico, and trails Trump and Cruz for delegates.
Rubio, Trump, Cruz and John Kasich are facing off in a GOP presidential debate Thursday night in Miami.
- Updated at 5:49 p.m.