Florida Governor Race 2014: ABC News' '14 For '14'

PHOTO: From left, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist in St. Petersburg, Fla., Nov. 4, 2013 and Governor Rick Scott in Miami, Jan. 14, 2014.

ABC News' "14 For 14" project is documenting 14 races that matter between now and November. This page will be updated throughout the year. See the full list of 2014 midterm election contests the ABC News political team is tracking.

THE PLAYERS

Gov. Rick Scott
Republican
Served as governor of Florida since 2011.
Age: 61 (born: Dec. 1, 1952)

Former Gov. Charlie Crist
Democrat
Served as governor of Florida from 2007 through 2011 as a Republican.
Age: 57 (born: July 24, 1956)

THE STAKES

Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist wants his old job back, but he's got one very big, very well-funded roadblock standing in his way: Incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. The two well-known political titans are duking it out for the keys to the governor's mansion in a state that is always a top prize in presidential election years. The clash is shaping up to be one of the most expensive, not to mention nastiest, races in the entire country during the 2014 cycle. Scott, elected in 2010's tea party wave, has one of the biggest campaign war chests in politics, one that Crist himself has called it the "$100 million meat grinder." Scott spent upwards of $85 million on his successful 2010 gubernatorial campaign, much of it from his family's own bank account. Meanwhile, the party-hopping Crist will have to convince voters to take him back after an unsuccessful 2010 Senate campaign that catapulted Marco Rubio to a power in Washington and sent the former governor into the political wilderness. Nevertheless, Crist retains personal popularity and may be in the right place at the right time, assuming the anti-Democratic (and anti-Crist) backlash isn't too fierce.

THE OUTLOOK

Scott has been weighed down by sagging poll numbers. A late November Quinnipiac University survey found that 47 percent of voters disapproved of the job he is doing and a majority -- 53 percent -- said he should not be re-elected. On the Democratic side, Nan Rich, a former Democratic state legislator is also vying for the nomination, but she appears to be no match for the better-known and better-funded Crist. Poll after poll has given Crist an edge in the battle, but in a state where Barack Obama barely eked out a victory over Mitt Romney in 2012 most keen political observers still agree: The race for the Sunshine State is still anybody's ballgame.

ABC NEWS RATING

Toss-up

KEY DATES

Aug. 26, 2014: Party primaries

IN THE NEWS

Charlie Crist and 21 Most-Famous Political Party Switchers of All Time

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