Every election cycle folks ask - who is going to win? One reason it is a difficult question to answer is that despite polls, gazzillion dollar campaigns, field operations, get-out-the-vote drives, endless television commercials and all the other things that are part of campaigning - one silly mistake can destroy a candidate.
The real question right now is this - did Florida Governor Rick Scott's refusal to take the debate stage last night do his campaign irreparable harm? And is there anything he can do to stop it?
A compilation of news videos put together by American Bridge - an outfit that actively campaigns against Scott - accurately reflects the tone of the Florida and national coverage of what is being called FanGate.
Scott refused to come onstage during a live, statewide television debate because his opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist, had sneaked in a fan to be tucked under the podium gently sending cooling air up his suit.
Leadership Florida and Florida Press Association, the debate organizers, said today that Crist violated the rules by having his ever present fan with him.
But was that enough of a reason for a sitting governor to refuse to go onstage during a live debate - Charlie has a fan and I'm mad.
Whether you agree with Scott or not, his refusal to come onstage for almost 7 minutes made him look petulant and silly. And he is getting killed in the state and national press. FanGate has gone viral on social media.
So far, the Scott campaign seems to be struggling to get ahead of the story. And it is not like FanGate is going away anytime soon. There is a final debate Tuesday on CNN raising the question - Fan or No Fan?
Scott needs to put the fan behind him. He should allow Crist to have his fan. In fact, Scott should walk on the CNN stage and present Crist with a fan.
After the debate, some of the Republicans leaving the hall were wringing their hands and shaking their heads over Scott's refusal to come onstage.