As a voter rally for Gov. Rick Scott in Hialeah a few days before Election Day came to a thunderous close Sen. Anitere Flores welcomed Pastor Mario Bramnick to the stage to give a closing prayer.
Bramnick, the senior pastor of New Wine Ministries Church in Cooper City, wasted little time in praising the Republican incumbent and indirectly attacking Democratic rival Charlie Crist, citing James 5:12 "let your yes be yes, your no be no" and James 1:8 that a "double minded man is unstable."
"We do not need an unstable man, we need a man of leadership,'' Bramnick said.
That was the intro the prayer and during the prayer Bramnick made his thoughts on the upcoming election even more clearer.
"Father we decree and declare that you have anointed and appointed Gov. Rick Scott for this hour to lead this great state of Florida,'' Bramnick said. "Father we pray that you expose the schemes and lies and deceptions of the enemy. Let God arise and our enemies be scattered. Let your kingdom come and your will be done Nov. 4."
In just a few short words Bramnick may have summed up - at least to those directly involved - what the race between Crist and Scott had become. Schemes, lies, deceptions and yes, enemies.
This was not a governor's race, say like in 2002 between Gov. Jeb Bush and Bill McBride, that revolved around such mundane discussions as school funding and reducing class size. Or even the previous 2006 general election between Crist and Democrat Jim Davis that was consumed by property taxes, insurance and whether or not Davis spent enough time in Washington D.C. (the subject of negative ads run by Crist.)
And yes, with Scott's past as the CEO of a company embroiled in Medicare fraud the 2010 elections were heated in both the GOP primary and the general election.
But that race almost seems quaint compared to this one. (Well, although that race featured Scott calling primary opponent Bill McCollum the "Tonya Harding of Florida politics" duing a press conference where Scott got served with a subpoena.)
But despite Democrat Alex Sink's repeated attempts to question Scott's character due to his role with HCA/Columbia much of the race four years ago was in Scott's own words about "jobs, jobs, jobs."
Scott had a bold plan - the 7-7-7 plan - that spelled out how he would return Florida's economy to good health by a mix of tax cuts, regulatory rollbacks and sizable cuts in government spending. In return, he predicted jobs would be forthcoming. Sink did have her own economic plan, but it was Scott's plan - and how it would work - that became one of the centerpieces of that campaign.
This time around there was no bold plans announced to anchor the campaigns.
Scott rolled out policy initiatives largely tied to next year's budget and he promised to bolster funding of the environment and schools. Crist's plans were even less intricate and centered on restoring education funding, equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage.
The main questions in 2014 aren't centered not around ideas, but basically, around character and trust:
Does Florida give Crist another chance even though he left in 2010 when the economy was souring? Or does Florida stick with Scott due to his handling of the economy even though a majority of the electorate doesn't really like him? Can you trust Crist because he supports President Barack Obama and Obamacare? Can you trust Rick Scott to not cut education funding again? And on and on on.
And maybe that's why the race has never broken wide for either candidate because they each spent months arguing about their pasts.
Through the debates and television ads and rallies the race turned bitter, personal and expensive. Crist is corrupt and surrounds himself with corrupt pals was the narrative of several GOP ads. Scott by contrast is "shady" and deceptive from his days with HCA/Columbia to his stint as governor. Fact-checks by many news organizations, including The Associated Press and Politifact, have roundly questioned the assertions made in many of the ads.
The debates probably didn't help that much because the defining moment wound up being Scott's absence from the start of the second one, a incident immortalized in the words of "fangate." Scott maintained he didn't come on stage because he thought Crist was going to boycott the debate because he wasn't supposed to have his fan. If Scott loses the race, there will be those tempted to point to that moment as when he lost the race.
Polls of course show that the steady barrage produced a predictable result: Neither candidate is liked by a majority of voters.
The last Quinnipiac University poll on the eve of the election found just 43 percent had a favorable rating of Crist and only 42 percent gave a favorable rating to Scott.
On the eve of the election, Scott boldly predicted that his campaign would "kick Charlie's rear" because he is providing a "clear choice" to voters about whether they want to pick someone who will help their families.
But unscientific Interviews with voters over the last few days have shown that many of them are voting for the person they find least objectionable.
They want the person who can help the economy. Or they want the person they think is more likely to help them. Some of these voters appear ready to look past Crist's shift from Republican to Democrat, or Scott's decision to jettison some of the tea party elements of his 2010 agenda.
During raucous events held during the final at The Villages and at a Harley Davidson dealership in Orlando, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asserted that Florida's election was really a "national election" that will answer questions about which direction that country moves in the next few years.
"Over the course of the next 24 hours I would suggest the future of America is in balance and Florida is the epicenter of that,'' Perry said.
Well, it's clear that national political figures with potential presidential aspirations such as Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Vice President Joe Biden have come to Florida and have pitched in.
And outside groups such as NextGen Climate, with its links to a California billionaire environmentalist, have made a significant impact in the race as well.
But what's interesting is that despite having what has been billed as the most expensive race in the country the clash between Crist and Scott in such a key swing state has not attracted quite the national media firestorm that one could have expected months ago.
Instead much of the focus in the closing days appears to have been concentrated on the prospect of the Republicans seizing the U.S. Senate.
So where does that leave us?
Is this a battle between good and evil as even some associates of Scott have maintained?
Or is this merely an election between two damaged and flawed candidates?
Will either candidate emerge from this race with much of a mandate in which to govern? Or will it be as previously predicted the prelude to a period when power shifts over to the Florida Legislature?
There will be of course much hand-wringing no matter what happens.
If Crist wins, there will be finger-pointing at how the Scott campaign was run. Did Scott abandon the narrative that helped him in 2010?
If Scott wins, the Crist people will say they couldn't defeat a candidate withs uch a distinct cash advantage including the nearly $13 million Scott put in at the close. And there will be Democrats who will say 'I told you so' and complain that they should have pushed U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson harder to jump into the contest.
Recriminations. Enemies scattered. Amen.