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Marc Caputo, Miami Herald

Marc Caputo

Marc Caputo covers state politics for the Miami Herald, in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times.

Email: mcaputo@miamiherald.com

Twitter: @MarcACaputo

  1. How Rick Scott won re-election as Florida governor

    State Roundup

    By the time the Halloween memo from their pollsters arrived Friday, Charlie Crist's campaign team had already lost a good deal of confidence from a week earlier. Gov. Rick Scott was spending the equivalent of $1,200 a minute every day, every hour on TV ads, and it was moving numbers.

    "Scott's (TV ad) advantage has a taken a real toll," warned Crist's data crunchers. "Our margin has declined by about a point a day since Monday. . . ....

    Rick Scott won the governor's race four years ago by about 1 percentage point - 61,000 votes - and he won reelection Tuesday by about 1 percentage point - about 70,000 votes. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. 3.1 million Floridians voted before Election Day; Dems cut GOP early ballot lead to 3.3%


    Regardless of who wins or loses or if there's a recount, this is the last tally of pre-Election Day ballots and, like the others, it's good news bad news for both sides.

    First the overall picture: as of Election Day morning, more than 3.1 million people had voted. That's probably more than half of the likely voters in this election (assuming a turnout of 49 or 50 percent).

    Republicans go into Election Day with a lead in early and absentee ballots of about 98,401 ballots, 3.2 percentage points. Yesterday, the GOP lead was 100,583, or 3.3 points....

  3. All over but the counting for Rick Scott, Charlie Crist

    State Roundup

    LAUDERDALE LAKES — Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist rallied their most reliable supporters Monday on the last day of a long and brutal campaign, as all signs point to a close and suspenseful fight for control of the Governor's Mansion.

    Scott, accompanied by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, worked his way across the I-4 corridor from Clearwater to Plant City to Lakeland and The Villages, the mega-retirement complex that's a mandatory destination for Republican candidates....

    Florida Governor Rick Scott makes a point during his speech at a Monday morning campaign stop in Clearwater. Scott was joined by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, left, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, not pictured. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. Florida Democrats close pre-Election Day ballot gap to 100,000


    Looks like Souls to the Polls was a success after all.*

    In just one day of early in-person voting, Democrats took a major bite out of the GOP's pre-Election Day ballot lead, which now stands at slightly more than 100,000. That's an improvement of more than 26,000 ballots in Democrats' favor.

    As of this afternoon, the GOP's margin over Democrats was 100,583, or 3.3 percentage points. Yesterday, after all the data was uploaded to the state's system, the GOP lead was 126,652, or 4.3 percentage points....

  5. PPP: Scott and Crist are tied


    It has been said for months that the Florida governor's race will go down to the wire, that no candidate leads outside the margin of error in any reputable poll.

    Now comes Public Policy Polling to put an exclamation on that with a poll showing Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist tied at 44 percent each.

    "We don't believe in reporting to decimal points but the one time we make an exception is tied final polls- Crist 44.0, Scott 43.8," PPP said on Twitter. "To give you an idea of just how this close this final Florida poll came out- 526 respondents picked Crist, 524 picked Scott."...

  6. Vice President ‘José’ Biden stumps with Charlie Crist; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush touts Rick Scott


    Democrats welcomed Joe Biden — or rather, José Biden, as he was introduced by U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia — to Miami on Sunday as part of a final appeal to voters to go to the polls Sunday and cast their ballots for Charlie Crist for governor.

    The vice president held court, speaking at length in an appeal to Hispanics and the middle class. He received the most applause when he referred to Republican Gov. Rick Scott....

    Jeb Bush, left, and Rick Scott, right, campaign in Hialeah on Sunday.
  7. Charlie Crist, Rick Scott make Souls to the Polls push with big-name help

    State Roundup

    Sunday was for spiritual as well as political salvation.

    Known as "Souls to the Polls," the Sunday before Election-Day is the last day for in-person early voting, a time when black voters have flexed their political muscle and cast ballots in droves after church across Florida.

    Their mission was a daunting one Sunday: help the Democratic Party — and especially Charlie Crist — eat into Republicans' 126,000 lead in casting pre-Election Day ballots....

    Churchgoers in Jacksonville had fans that showed Crist and Obama as "Partners in Progress."

 [Steve Bousquet   |  Times]
  8. 3 million in Florida have voted; Democrats close gap with GOP to 4.3%


    There's a good chance that half of the 2014 ballots have already been cast now that 3 million Floridians have voted absentee or at early voting stations in person.

    This morning's data (complaicated by the fact that five* of 67 counties have not updated yet) shows Republicans still holding a lead over Democrats in ballots cast, but it's not as strong as it used to be.

    GOP lead over Democrats: 125,623, or 4.3 percentage points. Yesterday morning's lead: 133,521, or 4.8 percentage points....

    A Times/Herald analysis of early voting.
  9. At $104m, FL Gov. race passes ad-spend century mark


    The TV ad campaign that is also known as Florida’s race for governor has cleared the century mark: at least $104 million.

    Gov. Rick Scott and his allies have owned most of those airwaves, spending about $68 million since March and at least $1 million in November 2013 to welcome Democrat Charlie Crist to the race with a barrage of negative ads. In between, Scott could have dropped another $1 million....

  10. Dems nibble at GOP's 134k early vote lead; about 2.8m have voted overall


    Almost 2.8 million Floridians have cast early and absentee ballots so far, and Republican returns are still ahead of Democrats, who have been in slow-motion catchup.

    GOP lead over Democrats: 133,521, or 4.8 percentage points as of this morning. Yesterday's lead: 134,910 or 5.3 percent.

    While Democrats can rightly boast they're closing the gap, the question lingers: Is it enough? Probably not. Republicans' lead could be cut to less than 4 percentage points by Election Day, according to an extrapolation of the past five days' voting rates. That could be a vote margin of more than 128,000 in Republican's favor. Again this is an extrapolation based on current rates. This analysis is conservative both in its mathematical assumptions and, incidentally, in its political outcome because it shows Republicans doing rather well....

  11. Gov. Rick Scott, Charlie Crist start final push; Scott adds $12.8 million to campaign

    State Roundup


    With TV ad spending topping $104 million in Florida's record-shattering, nail-biter of a governor's race — including the late addition of nearly $13 million directly from Gov. Rick Scott — the candidates spread out across Florida on Saturday trying to push every last supporter to the polls.

    Crist mingled with students in Tallahassee, while his campaign aides fretted about the impact of an unprecedented number of ads launched by Scott and his allies. Republicans are spending more than $13 million on TV ads over the final eight days, twice what Democrats are spending and equivalent to about $1,200 every minute of every day for TV commercials....

    Rick Scott campaign worker Mallory Mullen breaks out the big signs in preparation for Gov. Scott's early vote bus tour in Sun City Center on Saturday morning. (JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times)
  12. Rick Scott 45%, Charlie Crist 43% in Dem poll


    Florida’s race for governor is as tight as ever, with Gov. Rick Scott getting 45 percent support and Democrat Charlie Crist 43 percent from likely voters, according to a new poll from Democratic-leaning polling firm Schroth Eldon & Associates.

    The Republican’s 2 percentage-point lead is well within the 800 voter survey’s 3.5 percentage-point margin of error – like every other recent major poll in this race....

  13. Nearly 2.2m have voted early; Dems nibbling into GOP lead


    There's a good chance that more than one-third of the likely Florida voters in this year's midterms have already voted now that nearly 2.2 million have cast mail-in absentee and in-person early ballots..

    Republicans still hold a sizable lead over Democrats in total pre-Election Day ballots cast: about 141,000, or 6.5 percentage points. 

    Yesterday morning, the GOP lead by nearly 143,000 or 7.2 percentage points....

  14. In Florida's early vote wars, Rick Scott leading but Charlie Crist gaining

    State Roundup

    The race for Florida governor is tied in the polls, but the past week has brought more good numbers for Democrat Charlie Crist than Gov. Rick Scott.

    After the first full week of in-person early voting, Democrats have started to eat into Republicans' lead in casting pre-Election Day ballots — a margin in the GOP's favor of 138,000 of more than 1.8 million cast statewide.

    In 2010, Republicans led Democrats by 12 percentage points in ballots cast before Election Day, when Scott went on to beat Democrat Alex Sink by just over 1 percent of the vote. As of Monday, the Republican lead for this election was about 7.6 percentage points....

    Early voters head into the Jimmie Keel Public Library located at 2902 W Bearss Ave in Tampa on Monday . [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
  15. Dems continue to gain on GOP in pre-Election Day votes


    South Florida in-person early voting turnout might have been relatively lighter than expected this weekend, but Democrats for the first time this election still topped Republicans in pre-Election Day ballot casting at the polls in the entire state....