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2012: A Year Of Electile Dysfunction In Florida

Benjamin Thompson on flickr

In 2012, Florida remained the state that can't vote straight. 

President Barack Obama sent Florida's GOP leaders in to shock by winning the state in November, and some Democrats followed his coattails to make the state slightly bluer. But while licking their wounds, Republicans remain in firm control of Florida's agenda.

That agenda has included stricter voting laws, which include shortening the number of early voting days from 14 to 8. Combined with bad planning and incompetence on the local level on election day itself, the state's latest 'electile disfunction' marred the election.

Long lines at the polls, confusing amendments and last-minute absentee ballot requests made for the perfect storm of trouble, resulting in the state being left blank on the electoral map for days after the November 6th election.

To everyone's relief, it didn't matter as President Obama secured enough delegates elsewhere to render Florida moot. But the difficulties made the Sunshine State the laughing stock of the nation again. 

"For once, Florida's cluster**** is irrelevant." joked 'The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. "It's like hearing good news America: the tumor on your dong is benign."

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Governor Rick Scott ends the year with a 36 percent approval rating, and may face a challenge from his predecessor Charlie Crist

Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott remains deeply unpopular, gaining only 36% approval according to the latest Quinnpiac University survey. Halfway through his first term, there's already speculation of who might run against him in 2014.

Gov. Scott's most likely opponent is his predecessor, Charlie Crist.

This was the year Crist completed the cycle, going from a "conservative as it gets" Republican governor in 2009, to bucking both parties in a failed run for Senate as an independent in 2010, to finally filing papers to become a Democrat in 2012. 

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Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist officially signs papers to become a Democrat, and is expected to challenge to his successor in 2014

Whether Crist runs for his old job or not remains to be seen, but as 2013 begins, Florida politics has never been both more interesting and dysfunctional, all at the same time.  

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