We'll keep adding to this list — email [email protected] with recommendations — but here's the start:
Winner: Andrew Gillum. Just wow.
Winner: Donald Trump. Ron DeSantis had a hand in winning the Republican gubernatorial primary, sure, but President Trump was the force that propelled him. It's Trump's party now.
Winner: Bill Nelson. Andrew Gillum on the ballot should ensure that the base of the Democratic Party, especially voters of color, have something to be excited about and turn out for in November.
Loser: The FBI. If Gillum is in the clear on the bureau's ongoing corruption investigation into Tallahassee city officials, the FBI owes it to Floridians to say so. That's not the way it's usually done? Nor was it S.O.P. for James Comey to announce a renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton emails just before Election Day in 2016. Polls indicate that announcement was key in deciding the 2o16 result, just as FBI silence could be key in deciding Florida's race for governor.
Loser: Self-funders. Between them, Jeff Greene, Chris King and Philip Levine spent nearly $70 million of their own money to win the Democratic nomination for governor. None finished better than third place.
Loser: Pollsters, pundits, political writers. Almost all the polls missed Gillum's late rise and a lot of us writers brushed off the little-known pollster, Change Research, who did not. It was a gift to Gillum, who received few attacks and limited scrutiny in the primary because so many saw him as a long shot.
Winner: 270 Strategies. The firm run by former Obama advisers earned more than $813,000 to help political newcomer Chris King win 2.5 percent of the Democratic primary vote — most of it, the firm noted, for digital advertising. not the firm's fees. Still, nice paycheck. Lousy results. King spent $5.5 million of his own money.
Loser: Florida Insider Poll predictions. Last week, nearly 8 in 10 of our "Florida Insiders" — establishment types including campaign pros, lobbyists, fundraisers, academics — predicted Gwen Graham would win the nomination, 13 percent said Levine, and just 5 percent predicted Gillum.
Loser: Jeff Greene. The billionaire's relentlessly negative campaign against Graham and Levine surely helped Gillum win the Democratic nomination, but it did little for Greene. He has now spent nearly $60 million of his own money to be overwhelmingly rejected twice by Democratic voters. He spent about $229 per vote received this year.
Winner: Tom Steyer. The liberal billionaire's track record for funding winning races hasn't been great, but he won huge with Gillum's big upset. Without the last-minute infusion of $650,000 to cash-strapped Gillum by Steyer and George Soros, Gillum would not be the nominee today.
Winner: Kevin Cate. Gillum's senior campaign adviser has been ranting about a Gillum surge and a historic upset looming for a couple weeks now. Next time, I won't be so quick to shrug off his spin.
Winner: Brad Herold. When you're as cocksure about winning big as DeSantis' campaign manager was months and months ago, you should know what you're talking about about. Herold was and he did.
Loser: Year of the woman. Yes, a bunch of women are running for the Legislature and Democrats nominated a woman for agriculture commissioner and Republicans a woman for attorney general. But with Graham and Denise Grimsley losing their crowded primaries for governor and agriculture commissioner, it's tough to make the case for a big advantage for female candidates.
Loser: Alan Grayson. Did you miss him? Voters didn't. Darren Soto crushed his primary challenger.
Loser: Florida centrists. The choice for governor in this decidedly purple state is a between a committed right winger and a committed left winger.
Loser: Polk County. The election cycle began so promising for Imperial Polk. A strong contender for agriculture commissioner, Baxter Troutman, and two other local boys running for governor, Adam Putnam and Jack Latvala. Lost. Lost huge. Exposed as a creep.