- Associated Press - Sunday, November 2, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Republican-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist have each spent tens of millions of dollars on a tight race and turned Sunday to popular party figures to help them in the homestretch.

Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Crist at an event targeting Hispanic voters at Florida International University. He noted the growing influence of Hispanics and said they could be at the point where they decide the outcome of this and every future election.

“Stand up and show it! Speak up! Vote!” Biden said to cheers.

Scott made his own pitch to Hispanic voters, showing up with former Gov. Jeb Bush and prominent Hispanic politicians from South Florida at event in Hialeah that even included plenty of Cuban coffee for attendees. Both Scott and Bush spoke to the crowd in a mix of Spanish and English.

“Charlie Crist has got to go,” said Bush.

Biden also was set to appear with Crist at a “souls to the polls” event at a black church in Fort Lauderdale.

In Miami, Biden criticized Scott for not taking climate change seriously, handing out tax cuts to corporations while cutting school funding and trying to restrict abortion rights.

“He says when asked about climate change, ‘I’m not a scientist.’ But he sure the hell thinks he’s a doctor when he tells women what do,’” Biden said to the loudest applause of the event. He added later, “We can’t afford Rick Scott anymore, we really can’t.”

Bush and Biden are both considered potential 2016 presidential candidates and Crist and Scott were relying on their star power on the last day of early voting. So far, 2.9 million Floridians have cast ballots in the race, with nearly 1.2 million by Democrats and almost 1.3 million cast by Republicans.

Crist and Scott began Sunday by visiting churches, Crist in Palm Beach County and Scott in Miami-Dade County.

On Monday, each candidate was also getting outside help. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, both potential 2016 presidential candidates, were planning to campaign with Scott, while former President Bill Clinton will appear at an election eve rally with Crist in Orlando.

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Follow Gary Fineout on Twitter: http://twitter.com/fineout

Follow Brendan Farrington on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bsfarrington

(A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a quote about praying to Gov. Crist.)

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