Two Charlies, two Bills, and (the Kitchen) Sink

Okay. So I am sure that Alex Sink does not appreciate the ‘kitchen’ reference, and it does not signify some kind of subconscious misogyny — but the statewide races proved at least a little bit interesting.

U.S. Senate
From the Department of Foregone Conclusions, this just in: Bill Nelson won re-election. The polls showed him winning by 20 to 30 points over Katherine Harris. In the end, he sailed to a 22.2% victory. Yawn. He didn’t even wait until she conceded — making his victory speech at 8:30pm, only 30 minutes after the Panhandle polls closed.
Nelson 2,859,612 | Harris 1,807,044

Governor
One of the brightest spots for Republicans, a third straight victory in the gubernatorial race. Charlie Crist was shown up by 10% or more in a lot of polls, but they numbers grew closer toward the end of the campaign. He ended up beating Jim Davis by 7.1%, not as big as either of Jeb’s elections in 1998 or 2002. However, 50,000 fewer Floridians voted for Davis this year than voted for Bill McBride in 2002 — and interesting result.
Crist 2,495,148 | Davis 2,153,797

Chief Financial Officer
This may be the biggest surprise, Alex Sink defeats Tom Lee. Big time. Well, 7% is “big time” considering how many of the other races went Republican. The issue here is that both were virtual unknown across the state. Both had about the same amount of money to run television ads. But the ability of Sink to garner almost all of the newspaper endorsements probably gave her this race. She is the first Democrat to serve on the Cabinet since 2002, when Bob Butterworth was forced out by term limits.
Sink 2,453,311 | Lee 2,129,695

Attorney General
Like Charlie Crist, this is the third time Bill McCollum has run statewide. Like Jim Davis, this was the first effort for Skip Campbell. Voters often go with the names they know, giving McCollum the victory by 5%.
McCollum 2,415,302 | Campbell 2,181,996

Agriculture Commissioner
Charlie Bronson won re-election. Easily. By 14% His opponent, Eric Copeland, just wasn’t a viable candidate. In fact, only one major newspaper endorsed Copeland — the worst showing of any statewide Democrats.
Bronson 2,626,597 | Copeland 1,979,062

So, we have a Democratic Senator in what could be a Democratic Senate. Maybe he will actually be able to do something — anything — more than he did during his first term. The Cabinet will be split 3-1, but most Cabinet decisions are not controversial.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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