How the GOP helped Barack Obama by fielding an opponent against Sen. Chris Smith

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A very savvy political insider emailed me to explain how the Florida GOP ended up helping Barack Obama’s re-election efforts in Florida by fielding an opponent against Democratic Senate leader Chris Smith.

“… Smith had over 300 poll workers at every polling place in his and Senator (Maria) Sachs’ district. He did not rent limos or fly planes with banners.

… He was out Saturday night at 2:30 a.m. putting up signs.  He raised more money than any other Democratic Leader and he had the first gain for the Senate Democratic Caucus since 1984. … The RPOF is very lucky that Florida was not in play in the POTUS election. By putting a last-minute opponent in against Senator Smith, it let him run a full campaign in which he brought out over 140,000 votes. …

… If the POTUS wins Florida by around 50,000 votes Senator Smith’s ground game will have done it.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.