Florida's Governor Race Headed for Razor-Tight Election Day, but Nate Silver Picks Crist
Just in case you weren't convinced by the past six months of polls showing the Charlie Crist/Rick Scott race is barreling toward a razor-thin, Bush-vs.-Gore-esque, last-minute photo finish tomorrow, a new set of polls is out this morning to confirm that, yup, this thing is way too close to call.
That hasn't stopped statistical guru Nate Silver from weighing in, though. The FiveThirtyEight mastermind gives Crist the slight edge to win the governor's mansion.
The newest poll out this morning comes from Quinnipiac, which last week found Crist edging just ahead of Scott thanks to strong independent support.
Today, it still finds Crist leading soundly among independents -- by a 39-32 margin -- but overall brings the two candidates' numbers closer together, with Crist leading 42-41 and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie nabbing 7 percent.
"The Florida governor's race is too close to call," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. "The winner will be the candidate best able to get his voters to the polls. Turnout, turnout, turnout."
Another new poll, meanwhile, finds Scott slightly ahead but still within the margin of error. That poll comes from 0ptimus, a GOP-leaning survey firm, which counts Scott leading 43-41 and Wyllie getting 10 percent support.
Last, St. Pete Polls calls the race an exact dead heat: 45.5 percent support for each candidate.
Add it all up, and the message is unambiguous: This election will be a mystery until the ballot results begin filtering in late tomorrow night. As Marc Caputo writes at the Miami Herald: "It's probably a tie and, gulp, this election will be won or lost by turnout on Election Day."
What about Nate Silver, though? The statistical genius who picked every single state in the 2012 presidential election has a new forecast out for all the gubernatorial races around the country, and Silver is not down with predicting a tie.
Instead, he gives a slight edge to Crist. "Charlie Crist of Florida, the former Republican turned Democrat, is just slightly more likely than not to oust Republican Gov. Rick Scott from office," he writes, while putting that chance at 60 percent.
Whichever way you lean, there's a better chance than normal that your vote will factor into a damn close margin tomorrow.