Republican Rick Scott won a second term by a slim 80,000 vote margin out of 5.9 million votes. Scott won 48 percent of the vote, keeping office the same way he won it the first time - with less than a majority of Florida voters supporting him.
Charlie Crist failed to get enough votes in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties - Democratic strongholds - to edge past Scott. It is the second crushing defeat for Crist who lost a ill-fated U.S. Senate bid first as Republican and independent to Republican Marco Rubio.
Throughout the week, Republicans were quietly predicting that Scott would lose. Some were already plotting a new course with Crist as governor. Scott's victory puts those concerns aside.
An AP exit poll found that most voters believe Crist switched parties to further his own political career rather than because of personal political beliefs. While Crist had strong support from black, Hispanic and young voters, Scott had overwhelming support from white voters, particularly seniors.
Florida Democrats placed all of their hopes in Crist. They had - and have - no one else. As the saying goes, their bench is weak.
What kind of governor will Scott be in his second term? He gave no hint in his very short victory speech which he ended with - "let's get to work."
Crist called Scott to concede moments before Scott took the stage.
Crist told a disappointed audience that "it's no fun to lose."