Governor Rick Scott narrowly defeated former Governor Charlie Crist in a tight and divisive re-election bid. With more than 95 percent of precincts reporting, Scott has secured 48.3 percent of the vote with Crist carrying 46.91 percent.
The 1.39-point lead is not enough to trigger an automatic recount. Elections are automatically re-counted if a race is within a half point. In Florida’s case, that’s about 30,000 votes. Scott has a little over 81,000 more votes than Crist.
The battle between Scott and Crist was an expensive one with more than $100 million spent on TV ads. Governor Scott even kicked in $13 million of his own money at the last minute to propel him across the finish line.
The campaign trail was fodder for all sorts of fun headlines. From the fangate debacle that left a perplexed Charlie Crist alone on stage during a televised debate over his personal fan to constant jokes over Crist’s spray tan, Florida voters have loved to hate coverage of this race.
The action played out right up until the last minute with Crist filing an emergency court request to keep polling places open an extra two hours in Broward County. That request, prompted by confusion over voters whose addresses were not properly updated in an elections database, was ultimately denied. The Crist campaign claimed the ordeal sent some frustrated voters home without casting a ballot at all.
In all, nearly 6 million votes were cast in the gubernatorial election.
In another upset, Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie pulled in just 3.76 percent of the vote. That’s far less than predicted by several statewide polls.
Though the race has been called by the Associated Press, Crist has yet to make his concession speech.