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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Supporters for Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist went head-to-head outside of competing rallies near Florida International University’s campus.

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“Charlie! Charlie!” chanted Charlie Crist supporters. “Shame on you! Shame on you!” yelled Rick Scott supporters, each side trying to drown out the other.

With Election Day about a week away, the rallies are getting more intense and more frequent.

Scott’s running mate Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera showed up to the rally to mix with Crist supporters.

“This is the beauty of democracy!  I love this,” he said, putting his arm around a Crist supporter.

His enthusiasm was meant by jeers, “Charlie! Charlie!”

Running nearly an hour behind from his first stop at Florida Atlantic University, Crist finally made it.

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Crist is spending his Monday campaigning all over South Florida, trying to shore up the early vote.

“Everybody’s got to get out and early vote,” he said. “It is so important that you do that.”

At a Scott event in Melbourne, supporters yelled, “Four more years! Four more years!”

Scott has been campaigning for early votes with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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“Today starts our drive to win this election before it is even over,” said Christie.

Both candidates have stressed that early voting can make are break their chances of winning

“You’ve got to get your voters to the polls,” said Nova Southeastern University Professor Charles Zelden. “The time to campaign is over. The time to motivate and get your base out is here.”

Zelden said higher early voting numbers in South Florida works in Crist’s favor.

However, Scott would likely get the advantage for absentee ballots. Republicans tend to turn them in at twice the rate of Democrats.

So far, early voting is up 18 percent in Miami-Dade and 25 percent in Broward compared to the governor’s race in 2010.

Zelden figures Crist will focus on South Florida voters, along with the I-4 corridor.

“He (Crist) needs to get 80, 90 percent show up from the African American community,” said Zelden.  “He needs to get the young voters out; he needs to get Hispanic voters out.”

In both Miami-Dade and Broward, early voting continues until 7 p.m. every day through Friday.  It ends at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Sunday is the last day to cast an early ballot.

Elections are set for November 4th. For those interested in early voting, click here for Miami-Dade locations or click here for locations in Broward.


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Ted Scouten