Democrats making their predictions for governor: ahead by a squeak
Sen. Bill Nelson is telling crowds he predicts Alex Sink will win by 4 to 5 percentage points. Her running mate, Rod Smith, thinks it will be much closer than that. Sink makes no prediction except to ask her crowds to bring more people to the polls to ensure "we have an early night."
The breathtakingly close Florida governor's race has neither side taking anything for granted. Sink's campaign headquarters in each county, along with the Florida Democratic Party, are working round that clock Monday and Tuesday, canvassing neighborhoods, making phone calls, in an aggressive get out the vote effort.
Former Sen. Bob Graham told a 200-person crowd at a packed Gator's Dockside restaurant in Gainesville that "the race is very, very close'' "It’s going to depend on turnout,'' he said. "We know how agitated the other side seems to be." Graham asked everyone to take 10 people to the polls “be sure they vote and they vote Democrat and they vote for Alex Sink to be our next governor.”
Sink, Graham and Nelson stopped at campaign headquarters in Sarasota and Lee counties to make phone calls to voters. She urged supporters to "fire up those e-mails, send out those text messages."
“Every poll that’s coming out today has this race in a dead heat,'' she said in Fort Myers. "What that means is this race is all about who gets out to vote.”
Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, a Sarasota Democrat and political science professor at New College, admitted that "everybody is a little uneasy about this election because it's a strange year -- even the pollsters say voters are all over the place."
He predicted that despite the record spending in the governor's race, it will be an "old-fashioned election -- where you have to actually wait until the vote comes out to call it."
Smith teared up when he was greeted by his hometown crowd in Gainesville. "This election is going to go down to 100,000 votes, and Gainesville is going to make the difference,” he predicted.
Smith couldn't resist a football analogy in the sports bar, referring to the University of Florida's three-point victory over Georgia last week. “Somebody came up to me and said a poll came out and say you’re just three points ahead. Is that enough? I told them, ask Georgia. Three points is wonderful ahead.”