Three years ago when then-candidate Rick Scott was hopping around the state in the frantic days before the GOP primary he acknowledged that he thought this was his moment to seize.
Giving a nod to the Tea Party energy and overall dissatisfaction with politicians that year Scott said it would have been hard for someone like him to get elected at any other time.
It would come out later, much later, that before jumping into the race for governor Scott had contemplated running for U.S. Senate but concluded it would be hard to go up against Marco Rubio.
But what that should reinforce to anyone is that Scott can be very methodical, very calculating in the way he approaches everything.
And there were people in Scott's campaign who knew even then that the economy would likely rebound by 2014 - giving Scott the perfect way to frame his re-election campaign.
In other words, Scott isn't someone who just leaves things up to sheer chance and he didn't spend more than $70 million out of his own wealth by whim.
But of course between that moment when Scott shocked the GOP establishment and now there have been a series of moves, turns, twists, recalibration and reconsiderations as Scott has struggled to win favor with a majority of Floridians.
This had led many political pundits and many leading Democrats to conclude that Jeb Bush will remain the only Republican governor since reconstruction to win a second term in office.
And right now everyone expects that sometime this fall former Gov. Charlie Crist will make official what everyone has suspected for some time: He will jump into the race for governor and will likely become the Democratic nominee despite the best efforts of former State Sen. Nan Rich to win the nomination.
If the Crist-Scott race materializes as expected then those who follow conventional political wisdom will have to jettison some of their expectations over the next year. That's because this race will not follow any usual script.
Right now what's interesting is how both sides - Democratic and Republican - have a quiet confidence.
Yes, they say - 'oh, it will be tough race, it will be a close race' - but here's why we will win.
This is followed by explanations, on say, how one side will microtarget supporters to motivate them, or how they use a fusillade of television advertising that will bury Charlie Crist. Or how the voting demographic keeps profoundly changing, or how Crist has likability and name-recognition and that GOP disdain for Crist will cause Scott's backers to misfire.
As the date of conflict grows every nearer, here's a partial list of things that have to be overcome for either Crist or Scott to win. In short, it's why this election could be the most interesting governor's race in Florida in nearly a generation. No matter who wins it will be historic because it will upend conventional thinking.
1. Rick Scott's poll numbers are just too low to ignore.
Most polls have shown Scott's number below 50 percent since shortly after he was inaugurated. It has bounced around somewhat - and while polls are just a moment in time and sometimes measure different sets of voters - what can't be denied is that if you can't get over 42 percent in a series of polls over a 3-year period that's a pretty solid trend line.
For Scott supporters they have to remain hopeful that these numbers haven't calcified.
In other words, will $100 million spent on advertising change minds and perceptions?
The plan is to "reintroduce" Scott to voters in the next year and combat the image that has been presented (by the earned media) since January 2011.
This reintroduction will focus on Scott's background as a poor kid who rose to riches and then led Florida's economy back to recovery after the collapse that happened under Crist's watch. Pollsters have already noted that the last governor to maintain such low poll numbers over such a lengthy time during their stint in office in Florida was Bob Martinez - a one term governor who lost to Lawton Chiles in 1990.
This is completely true.
When Crist ran for governor as a Republican in 2006 he had a sizable money advantage over Democrat Jim Davis and was able to pound him on television. While there were some negative ads run against Crist in the U.S. Senate race, frontrunner and eventual winner Marco Rubio focused his television ads more on his own story and his vision for America.
Presumably these ads against Crist will reinforce the message that Florida's unemployment rate jumped up during Crist's time in office. There could be ads that also focus on Crist's turnabout on key issues, although it's unclear what advantage would be gained with independent voters, for example, to point out that his position has changed on gay marriage or even abortion.
The hope from Democrats is that Crist can weather this kind of storm because A) He has built-in name recognition that will make it hard for the Scott campaign to define him B) He will have the support of President Barack Obama, bringing with him national recognition and money that will allow him to punch back C) Crist will get plenty of earned media because this will quickly become one of the marquee races around the country.
This could be somewhat wishful thinking.
While there has been discussions that the Obama campaign may be willing to share its vaunted voter lists with outside candidates next year it will be interesting to see if that happens in Florida.
Another disadvantage for Crist: Given the Florida Democratic Party performance in the recent past he may be forced to build his own campaign infrastructure instead of putting his trust in that organization. That will also take time and money that can't be used to push back against the onslaught that awaits.
3. Democratic voters will stay home in a non-presidential year.
This is the trend that is supposed to comfort Scott supporters.
Despite Barack Obama winning the Sunshine State in both 2008 and 2012 the conventional wisdom is that this will not translate into Florida remaining in the Democratic column next year. The 2010 elections are seen as proof of that when Scott was elected, the GOP-controlled Legislature got a super-majority and Democratic incumbents in Congress were knocked off.
Even Democratic consultant Steve Schale has noted that demographically Democrats are changing and he lays out how that could work for Democrats but also could require more effort for turnout in off years.
There's no disputing that in 2010 there was a Republican wave.
But it's important to go back and look at the numbers from the 2010 election. Scott nudged Democrat Alex Sink by roughly 61,000 votes. In this close race Scott didn't even break 49 percent since several other minor party candidates managed to collectively snag 182,000 votes.
One of the things that happened that year is there is evidence that Rubio may have helped drive some of the turnout.
More people_5.45 million_ voted in the 2010 election than in 2006 election when 4.88 million cast ballots.
But that didn't translate into votes for Scott.
One important reason - people skipped the governor's race. Here's the report from January 2011 from the state that showed the undervote _ which is where people left the ballot blank _ nearly doubled between the 2006 election and the 2010 election.
For Republicans, however, here's another scary number to consider: Rubio would have not have been elected to the U.S. Senate if independent candidate Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek had not split the vote in 2010.
Meek and Crist combined took in 2.7 million votes to Rubio's 2.64 million. (Yes, I know someone will point out that not all Crist voters would have voted for Meek - but the point is they didn't gravitate toward Rubio either.)
Now it can be argued that 2010 was different and that Republicans will be able to rally the base this time around Scott. He won't have to go through a nasty divisive primary and they no longer have to worry that every campaign ad will mention that Scott's former company paid the largest fine ever for Medicaid fraud.
But it's worth noting _ as plenty of others have _ that the number of voters not affiliated with either party _ has grown at a larger rate than registration rates for either party since the last governor's race.
It's yet another sign that Florida's election landscape continues to shift.
That probably explains why Scott's campaign team wants to focus on the economy and jobs. The thinking may be that independent voters don't have to like Scott, but they can vote for him because they think he's competent and that he's doing what he promised to do to turn the state around.
The one element that hasn't been closely examined, however, is that both Scott and Republicans have done things in the last three years that could motivate chunks of voters to turn against them.
One key example: How many teachers, cops, firefighters and prison guards plan to vote for the guy who pushed through a new law that took three percent of their pay in order to pay for their retirement?
And consider this - what if some of these voters, say prison guards working in North Florida - are part of the voting base that Scott needs to offset Democratic gains in other parts of the state?
Now Scott's actions over the last 18 months could be seen as an effort to deal with potential gaps in his support.
In other words, he has ventured forth on a series of policy initiatives - whether it's pushing pay raises for teachers or even smaller steps such as vowing a lawsuit against Georgia over water - that could be seen as helping him in certain weak areas - and just as importantly help calm fears among independent voters.
In the end it appears that whatever happens in the next 14 or so months it may change what we think we know about Florida politics and where it's going in the 21st Century.
Maybe a high-profile governor's race where tens of millions is spent bashing the candidates sparks turnout and turns the contest into a barn-burner that isn't decided until those votes from Miami-Dade County and Broward County get counted late on election night.
Or the alternative scenario: The money and the negativity and bashing of both candidates results in depressed turnout that makes it hard to predict easily. The governor's race is the top race on the 2014 ballot. There is no U.S Senate race on the same ballot so there's no other contest that will overshadow the Scott-Crist matchup.
Here's the one thing that maybe all political reporters should acknowledge right now: They don't really know how this is going to all turn out.