While today's primary election in Florida lacks the drama of a high-stakes statewide race like two years ago there will be much to ponder once the smoke clears by Wednesday morning.
Most of the true intrique will of course surround the numerous proxy battles - and their role in the future leadership of the Florida Senate. Here's a previous overview on that.
But there are also a whole slew of other trends/stories worth paying attention to that could have ramifications in this year's general election, next year's legislative session and the 2014 elections when Gov. Rick Scott will seek a second term.
1. Will the "toxic" brand that Democrats seem to attach to Scott really play out? Several Democratic primaries - include at least two state Senate seats and a North Florida congressional seat - have included various allegations that one of the Democrats in the race is too cozy or too comfortable with Scott and his agenda. Former Sen. Al Lawson - who is running for Congress against Rep. Leonard Bembry - went so far as to ask people to give him money to help fight "lies" that he voted for Scott over Alex Sink.
If this strategy of trashing your opponent as a ally of Scott doesn't work in a primary election then how big a factor is it in the general election or heading into 2014?
2. What happens if Rachel Burgin defeats Tom Lee in the state Senate GOP primary in Hillsborough County?
Senate leaders backed former president Lee, but that didn't stop some lobbyists from helping out Burgin against their old foe. Lee's trangressions are many to some lobbyists, including his push to force them to disclose how much they were getting paid to lobby the Legislature. One of the attacks against Lee dredged up an old divorce and questioned his character.
One could be tempted to conclude it's just one race and the outcome shouldn't have an outsized impact in the halls of the Capitol.
But when asked recently if there would be any consequences, incoming Senate President Don Gaetz said this: "I don’t think that any vengeance has to be planned for these Democratic lobbyists. I think the stink of dirty personal attacks will hang on them and they are making their own problems."
And Gaetz added that he thought that some of those who did help Burgin went "way, way over the line."
3. Will today's election effectively end the Senate presidency battles? No one knows for sure what the pledge cards look like, but if Mike Weinstein and Jim Frishe and some other Republican state senate candidates go down then there will be much speculation that Jack Latvala's bid to become Senate president in 2016 is doomed.
Latvala is an old-hand at political intrique so it would probably be a bit premature to write his obituary. He may hope that his alliance with Andy Gardiner may help him in the long run. The problem, of course, is whether or not he has to deal with people who change their minds on backing him if he has a bad day today.
4. Will Alex Diaz de la Portilla become the ultimate shadow warrior in the Legislature?
The former state senator's political skills should never be underestimated. But it could be quite fascinating if he gets elected to the House along with his brother Renier. (Miquel Diaz de la Portilla is already in the Senate.) It would not be far-fetched to envision scenarios where Alex DLP quickly begins forming alliances in leadership fights and special interest lobbying battles.
5. Which interest group emerges from the primary stronger, or weaker? A backstory in several primaries is the money that groups engaged in ongoing public policy fights, whether it's gambling or private school vouchers for low-income families, wound up putting into play.
A win by Mack Bernard over Jeff Clemens, for example, in a Palm Beach County state senate seat would continue to dilute the influence that the state's teacher union has when it comes to fighting back against vouchers.
Additionally, it will be worth noting if certain attacks regarding key legislative issues - like property insurance, for example in the Frishe-Jeff Brandes state senate race - prove harmful at all.