Florida gubernatorial election, 2010

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Florida gubernatorial election, 2010
Florida
2006 ←
November 2, 2010 → 2014

  Rick Scott official portrait.jpg Alex Sink.png
Nominee Rick Scott Alex Sink
Party Republican Democratic
Running mate Jennifer Carroll Rod Smith
Popular vote 2,619,335 2,557,785
Percentage 48.87% 47.72%

Florida 2010 Gubernatorial Election.svg

Election results by county

Governor before election

Charlie Crist
Independent

Elected Governor

Rick Scott
Republican

The 2010 Florida gubernatorial election took place on November 2, 2010 to determine the Governor for the State of Florida. Republican-turned-Independent incumbent Governor Charlie Crist chose not to run for a second term. He instead ran (unsuccessfully) for the Senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez.[1] This resulted in an open race for Governor of Florida. Republican Rick Scott narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in the general election.

Despite mixed to unfavorable approval ratings, Rick Scott benefited greatly from the midterm GOP wave, in which Republicans made significant gains across the country. Scott was one of six Republican gubernatorial pick-ups across (counting Crist now as an Independant). Alex Sink, the wife of failed 2002 gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride, made an issue over Scott's connections to Columbia/HCA, a Medicare billing fraud scandal, which became a key issue of the election. Scott was largely labeled a "crook" by his detractors, but still managed to outperform and outspend Sink, to the tune of $78 million of his person wealth.[2]

The tight, and highly contentious election was one of the stand-out races in 2010. Despite not professing allegiance to the movement,[3] Scott benefited from support and endorsement of the Tea Party activists,[4] an influential voting block of the 2010 midterms. Furthermore, Scott ran aggressively against the Affordable Care Act, and exit polls indicated considerable support in that aspect.[5]

Candidates[edit]

Republican[edit]

Democratic[edit]

Independence Party of Florida[edit]

  • Peter L. Allen, electrical inspector

No party affiliation[edit]

  • Michael E. Arth, policy analyst and urban designer who entered the race as a Democrat in June 2009 and later switched to no party affiliation in June 2010
  • Farid Khavari, economist, author, and small business owner
  • Daniel Imperato[6]
  • Calvin Clarence "C.C." Reed

Primary results[edit]

Democratic[edit]

Alex Sink, the CFO of Florida, was mentioned as a possible candidate to run for Senate or Governor in 2010,[7][8] but initially declined. When Charlie Crist announced he would not run for re-election, Sink immediately announced her campaign for governor. Sink was the wife of Bill McBride, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002.

Sink faced only token opposition in the primary. Her lone opponent was Socialist Brian Moore.[9] On primary day Sink easily won the Democrat nomination with nearly 77% of the vote.

Democratic primary results[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Sink 663,802 76.9%
Democratic Brian Moore 199,896 23.1%
Totals 863,698 100%

Republican[edit]

In May 2009, Republican incumbent governor Charlie Crist announced he would not run for re-election, and instead would run for U.S. Senate.[11] The move immediately turned the race competitive, as GOP-hopefuls lined up to run for the open seat. Former congressman and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum emerged as the early favorite. McCollum had previously lost the election for Senate in 2000, and lost the Republican nomination for Senate in 2004, was attempting his third statewide campaign.

Just before the deadline, Rick Scott jumped into the primary fight. Scott started dumping millions of his own personal fortune into the race.[12] The race quickly became one of the most expensive and "nasty" primary campaigns in recent Florida history.[13] Scott and McCollum lashed out with very negative attacks against each other. Scott ran as a political "outsider," and led some early polls, but McCollum re-took the lead in polls just before primary day. Scott benefited in the absentee voting, while McCollum expected to make up the difference based on turnout. On primary night, Scott won the nomination with just over 46% of the vote. The McCollum team final conceded after midnight.

Republican primary results[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Rick Scott 595,474 46.4%
Republican Bill McCollum 557,427 43.4%
Republican Mike McCalister 130,056 10.1%
Totals 1,282,957 100%

Campaign[edit]

The race was dominated by the two major party candidates and spending on their behalf. By the October 25, 2010 Tampa debate between Scott and Sink, Scott had spent $60 million of his own money on the campaign compared to Sink's $28 million.[14] Total campaign expenditure for the race exceeded $100 million, far exceeding any previous spending for a governor's race in Florida.[15]

One of the turning points in the campaign came during the debate. During a commercial break, Alex Sink's make-up artist delivered a text message on her cell phone to Sink, in direct violation of the debate rules. The rules infraction was immediately pointed out by Rick Scott and the debate moderators.[16] Sink's team was accused of "cheating" during the debate, and the aide who delivered the message was fired from the campaign the next morning. Afterwards, media and observers were very critical of the gaffe.

Polling[edit]

Democratic primary[edit]

Republican primary[edit]

General election[edit]

Poll source Dates administered Bud Chiles (I) Rick Scott (R) Alex Sink (D)
Mason-Dixon May 3–5, 2010 36% 38%
Rasmussen Reports May 16, 2010 41% 40%
Rasmussen Reports June 7, 2010 45% 40%
Quinnipiac June 7, 2010 13% 35% 26%
Florida Chamber of Commerce June 9–13, 2010 15% 31% 26%
Ipsos/Reuters July 9–11, 2010 12% 34% 31%
Public Policy Polling July 16–18, 2010 13% 30% 36%
Quinnipiac July 22–27, 2010 14% 29% 27%
The Florida Poll July 24–28, 2010 11% 30% 28%
Rasmussen Reports August 2, 2010 16% 35% 31%
Ipsos/Florida Newspapers August 6–10, 2010 14% 30% 29%
Mason-Dixon August 9–11, 2010 17% 24% 40%
Quinnipiac August 11–16, 2010 12% 29% 33%
Public Policy Polling August 21–22, 2010 8% 34% 41%
Rasmussen Reports August 25, 2010 4% 45% 42%
Rasmussen Reports September 1, 2010 45% 44%
Sunshine State News September 1–7, 2010 42% 44%
CNN September 2–7, 2010 42% 49%
FOX News September 11, 2010 41% 49%
Reuters/Ipsos September 12, 2010 45% 47%
Mason-Dixon September 20–22, 2010 40% 47%
Rasmussen Reports September 22, 2010 50% 44%
Quinnipiac September 23–28, 2010 49% 43%
CNN September 24–28, 2010 47% 45%
Sunshine State News September 26 – October 3, 2010 44% 42%
TCPalm.com / Zogby September 27–29, 2010 39% 41%
Florida Chamber of Commerce September 27–30, 2010 46% 42%
Rasmussen Reports September 30, 2010 46% 41%
Mason-Dixon October 4–6, 2010 40% 44%
Miami-Dade College October 5, 2010 52% 46%
Quinnipiac October 6–8, 2010 45% 44%
Rasmussen Reports October 7, 2010 50% 47%
PPP October 9–10, 2010 41% 46%
Susquehanna October 12–13, 2010 45% 48%
Suffolk October 14–17, 2010 38% 45%
CNN Opinion Research October 15–19, 2010 49% 46%
Ipsos/ St. Pete Times October 15–19, 2010 44% 41%
Rasmussen Reports October 18, 2010 50% 44%
Naples Daily News / Zogby October 18–21, 2010 39% 43%
Quinnipiac October 18–24, 2010 41% 45%
Susquehanna October 20, 2010 45% 45%
Susquehanna/ Sunshine State News October 24–25, 2010 47% 45%
Univ. of South Fla. Polytechnic October 23–27, 2010 44% 39%
Quinnipiac October 25–31, 2010 43% 44%
Mason-Dixon October 26–27, 2010 43% 46%
Rasmussen Reports October 27, 2010 48% 45%
Susquehanna/ Sunshine State October 29–31, 2010 46% 49%
Public Policy Polling October 30–31, 2010 47% 48%

Hypothetical Polls[edit]

Election results[edit]

The 2010 Florida Governors Race was one of Florida's closets governors races. The race was only decided by around 60,000 votes. When the polls closed Scott had a comfortable lead. However as the night wore on the margin got narrower and narrower. Scott narrowly avoided an automatic recount. Alex Sink conceded the next morning. Sink said quote Rick Scott will have to work hard to pull Floridians together, after this close election.

Florida gubernatorial election, 2010[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Rick Scott 2,619,335 48.87% -3.31%
Democratic Alex Sink 2,557,785 47.72% +2.62%
Independence Party Peter Allen 123,831 2.31%
Independent C. C. Reed 18,842 0.35%
Independent Michael E. Arth 18,644 0.35%
Independent Daniel Imperato 13,690 0.26%
Independent Farid Khavari 7,487 0.14%
Write-ins 121 0.00%
Plurality 61,550 1.15% -5.92%
Turnout 5,359,735

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martinez resigned his seat in December 2008, and Crist appointed Republican George LeMieux to serve the remainder of Martinez's term. LeMieux declined to run for election, and Crist was one of three major candidates in the election for U.S. Senate.
  2. ^ Madison, Lucy. "Rick Scott Wins Tight Florida Governor Race". CBS News. Retrieved October 17, 2014.  Unknown parameter |Date= ignored (|date= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ Derby, Kevin (Septermber 2, 2010). "TEA Party Backs Rick Scott for Governor in November". Sunshine State News. Retrieved October 17, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Dockery, Paula (June 5, 2014). "Paula Dockery: Tea party stands by Rick Scott". Florida Today. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Exit Polls - Florida 2010 Governor". CNN. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ Florida Election Candidate Tracking System entry for Imperato
  7. ^ "Florida Democrats revel in gained ground". Tampa Bay Times. August 25, 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  8. ^ Cotterell, Bill (January 16, 2009). "Alex Sink won't run for U.S. Senate in 2010". Tallahassee Democrat. 
  9. ^ Kam, Dara (July 24, 2010). "Low-profile Alex Sink faces even more obscure opponent in Democratic race for Florida governor". Palm beach Post. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Florida Gubernatorial Primary Results". Politico. August 24, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Florida governor announces run for Senate". CNN. May 12, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  12. ^ Deslatte, Aaron (July 30, 2010). "Ruling lets Rick Scott spend all he wants in governor's race vs. Bill McCollum". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  13. ^ Deslatte, Aaron (August 25, 2010). "Rick Scott beats Bill McCollum to end nasty GOP governor's primary fight". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  14. ^ Orlando Sentinel, "Governor's Race: Rick, Scott, Alex Sink save harshest word for last debate."
  15. ^ Baribeau, Simone. "Florida Republican Scott Elected Governor After Record Spending". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Aide fired over Florida debate foul". CNN. October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  17. ^ https://doe.dos.state.fl.us/elections/resultsarchive/Index.asp?ElectionDate=11/2/2010&DATAMODE=

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites