I was at a bar once when my buddy asked me to run “shy brother” and introduce him to a woman way out of his league. I walked over and explained that my friend thought she was attractive but he was super shy. She laughed. She’d seen Five Heartbeats, and then she very politely told me that she was waiting for her boyfriend.
I walked over to my buddy and told him that she thought he looked stupid and that she hated his work pants, and she basically wanted nothing to do with him.
He took a swig of his drink and yelled, “So what you’re saying is that I’ve still got a chance!”
That’s Florida; the joke that can’t stop laughing at itself. Florida is the guy that still believes he’s got a shot even though the rest of the world knows it’s hopeless.
In short, Florida just can’t stop being Florida. And, in turn, whenever we get excited about Florida, it still just can’t stop being Florida. We should’ve given up on Florida a long time ago, and yet here we are yelling about how we still have a chance.
On Wednesday, it looked like the Florida race for governor was all decided. Republican Ron DeSantis appeared to be the winner over nationally loved and locally accepted Andrew Gillum, who even conceded.
But by Thursday, all that changed.
All kinds of votes were still being counted in Florida, and almost every race remains close enough to automatically call for a hand recount.
Here’s how The Orlando Sentinel broke it all down:
The Senate race [between Sen. Bill Nelson and challenger Rick Scott] is already likely headed to a machine recount, which is triggered when the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. Nelson trailed Scott by 0.26 points, or less than 22,000 votes. A hand recount, a more thorough process than a machine recount, would happen if the race was within 0.25 points.
Nikki Fried, the Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner, was also likely headed to a hand recount with Republican Matt Caldwell, who she trailed by 0.06 points, a little more than 4,000 votes.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Andrew Gillum was 0.52 percentage points behind Republican Ron DeSantis, a margin of just less than 43,000 votes, just 0.02 percentage points away from a machine recount.
Despite Gillum’s concession, a recount could still find him to be the winner, a situation that Gillum’s campaign welcomes.
“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count,” campaign spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement. “Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported.”
The Sentinel notes that the Gillum campaign has hired attorney Barry Richard, who represented the Bush campaign during the 2000 presidential election—also known as the hanging chad election—in Florida. Richard is “monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount,” Cervone told the Sentinel. “Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted.” Looks like they picked up some of that Stacey Abrams energy.
Election officials from Florida’s 67 counties will have until noon Saturday to report all unofficial results to the state. Marc Elias, a recount attorney hired by the Nelson campaign, told the Sentinel, “a machine recount would likely be completed by Thursday, Nov. 15 with further overvote and undervote counting until Sunday, Nov. 18. But the actual timeline for a full, manual recount—which has never happened in Florida, even in 2000—is unclear.”
Thanks, Florida, for consistently being Florida and for being the state that late night host Seth Meyers joked is shaped like a dick because it just can’t stop fucking us.