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Florida: Battle for the Statehouse

Incumbent: Gov. Charlie Crist (R turned I) is running for the Senate

Democrat: CFO Alex Sink

Republican: Businessman Rick Scott

2008 Presidential Result: Obama 51%; McCain 48%

55+ Population (2009 estimate): 27.3%

Overview: The Tampa Tribune says watching the TV ad war between Alex Sink and Rick Scott is like flipping from local news to CNN because Scott is almost substituting President Obama's face for Sink's in his ads. Scott is using a clip of Obama calling on Floridians to go to bat for Sink as a way to tag Sink with items that are unpopular like health care reform and the financial bailout. Sink counters that this is a statewide election, not a national one. Scott upset veteran Florida politician Bill McCollum in the GOP primary, running as the "anti-establishment" candidate and bankrolling his effort with $50 million of his own money. The upset tilted the contest to Sink, and she was leading in polls heading into the fall but not by much.

50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.

Fun Fact: Sink's husband, Bill McBride, won $10,885 at the Seminole Hard Rock casino last year, according to her financial disclosure statement. The campaign says he plays poker "recreationally."

'Wild Card' Issue: Scott has been taking criticism for the $1.7 billion in fines for Medicare and Medicaid fraud his hospital chain paid while Scott was in charge as chief executive.

Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future

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