You might call it a welcome surprise.
The race had been intensely personal for a long time, to the point that a minor scuffle over the use of a small fan at a debate became a major feature of the campaign. Both candidates took shots at each other's temperament and character throughout the campaign.
Crist himself is a Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat, desperately seeking someone or something to support him. In what may have been his final go-round, Crist will fall short, and Republican Gov. Rick Scott will keep his position.
While the gubernatorial races are not the centerpiece of this election night, it's an important win in a contested state.