Scott: 40–50% 50–60% 60–70%Sink: 40-50% 50–60% 60–70% 70–80%
|Elections in Florida|
The 2010 Florida gubernatorial election took place on November 2, 2010. 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 Martínez.  This resulted in an open race for Governor of Florida in which Republican Rick Scott narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink.
Despite mixed to unfavorable 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 nationwide (counting Crist now as an Independent).
The tight and highly contentious election was one of the standout races in 2010. Despite not professing direct allegiance to the movement,  Scott benefited from support and endorsement by Tea Party activists,   an influential conservative voting bloc of the 2010 midterms. Furthermore, Scott ran aggressively against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and exit polls indicated considerable support for that position. 
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Primary results
- 3 Campaign
- 4 Polling
- 5 Election results
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- Bill McCollum, Florida Attorney General and former U.S. Representative
- Rick Scott, health care executive, businessman, and healthcare activist
- Mike McCalister, businessman
- Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer
- Brian P. Moore, marketing and executive director, project administrator and consultant, 2008 Socialist Party presidential nominee
- Peter L. Allen, electrical inspector
- 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 
- Calvin Clarence "C.C." Reed
Alex Sink, the CFO of Florida, was mentioned as a possible candidate to run for Senate or Governor in 2010,   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.
In May 2009, Republican incumbent governor Charlie Crist announced he would not run for re-election, and instead would run for U.S. Senate.  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. This would be his third attempt at a major 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.  The race quickly became one of the most expensive and "nasty" primary campaigns in recent Florida history.  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 day, Scott won the nomination with just over 46% of the vote. The dejected McCollum team reluctantly conceded after midnight.
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.  Total campaign expenditure for the race exceeded $100 million, far exceeding any previous spending for a governor's race in Florida.  Scott spent $78 million of his personal wealth in the race.  Sink made an issue of Scott's connections to Columbia/HCA, a Medicare billing fraud scandal. 
One of the turning points in the campaign came during the debate. During a commercial break, 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 Scott and the debate moderators.  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.
List of Democratic primary polling numbers
List of Republican primary polling numbers
|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%|
Bill McCollum (R) vs. Alex Sink (D) vs. Bud Chiles (I)
The 2010 governor's race was one of Florida's closest, decided by just over 60,000 votes. Unlike the concurrent Senate race, the governor's race remained in doubt late into the night. When polls closed, Scott had a lead, but as the night progressed, the margin narrowed. The next day, with over 99% of precincts reporting, Scott maintained about a 1% lead in the raw vote.  Despite a small number of still-uncounted ballots from Palm Beach County, Sink's chances of winning were negligible, as Scott was still ahead by over 50,000 – much more than the 3,000 uncounted ballots, and more importantly, still above the threshold of 0.5% to trigger a mandatory recount.  Sink conceded on Wednesday.
Exit polls showed that Scott won among independents and the two candidates split the Hispanic vote. 
|Independent||C. C. Reed||18,842||0.35%|
|Independent||Michael E. Arth||18,644||0.35%|
|Republican gain from Independent||Swing|
- 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.
- "Money, message, mad electorate make Scott Fla. gov". The Washington Post. November 3, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- Derby, Kevin (September 2, 2010). "TEA Party Backs Rick Scott for Governor in November". Sunshine State News. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- Dockery, Paula (June 5, 2014). "Paula Dockery: Tea party stands by Rick Scott". Florida Today. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- "Exit Polls – Florida 2010 Governor". CNN. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- Florida Election Candidate Tracking System entry for Imperato
- "Florida Democrats revel in gained ground". Tampa Bay Times. August 25, 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Cotterell, Bill (January 16, 2009). "Alex Sink won't run for U.S. Senate in 2010". Tallahassee Democrat.
- 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.
- "Florida Gubernatorial Primary Results". Politico. August 24, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
- "Florida governor announces run for Senate". CNN. May 12, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Governor's Race: Rick, Scott, Alex Sink save harshest word for last debate". Orlando Sentinel,
- Baribeau, Simone. "Florida Republican Scott Elected Governor After Record Spending". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Madison, Lucy (April 14, 2011). "Rick Scott Wins Tight Florida Governor Race". CBS News. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- "Aide fired over Florida debate foul". CNN. October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- https://doe.dos.state.fl.us/elections/resultsarchive/Index.asp?ElectionDate=11/2/2010&DATAMODE= Archived October 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Florida Division of Elections
- Florida Governor Candidates at Project Vote Smart
- Campaign contributions for 2010 Florida Governor from Follow the Money
- Florida Governor 2010 from OurCampaigns.com
- 2010 Florida Gubernatorial General Election: All Head-to-Head Matchups graph of multiple polls from Pollster.com
- Election 2010: Florida Governor from Rasmussen Reports
- 2010 Florida Governor – McCollum vs. Sink from Real Clear Politics
- 2010 Florida Governor's Race from CQ Politics
- Race Profile in The New York Times
- Official campaign websites (Archived)