Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Adam C. Smith

Political editor since 2001, Adam Smith was named the best political writer in Florida by washingtonpost.com and one of the country's Top 10 political reporters by the Columbia Journalism Review. He focuses on state and national politics.

Smith has been with the Times since 1992 and has covered local and state government, as well as general assignment and investigative beats. He appears most Sundays on Political Connections on Bay News 9, is a primary contributor to The Buzz political blog. Smith grew up in New York City, graduated Kenyon College in Ohio, and when he's not chasing politicians tries to keep up with his wife, three kids and basset hound.

Phone: (727) 893-8241

Email: asmith@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

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  1. Latest GOP ad against Crist: He was helpless

    Blog

    Here's the latest TV spot from the Florida GOP

     

  2. Maybe that seemingly irrelevent Libertarian will swing Fla gov race after all

    Blog

    Given how little the vast majority of Florida voters think of Charlie Crist and Rick Scott after all their negative TV ads, it's pretty astounding that Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie failed generate sufficient support in credible polls to be included in any debates.

     This seems like an ideal climate for a none-of-the-above candidate even if, like Wyllie, that candidate raises little money and offers up pixie dust policy proposals too vague for even the most cynical and shameless major party establishment candidate (Wyllie intends to cut 30 percent out of the state budget by---you guessed it --- trimming unidentified waste and inefficiency)....

  3. Steve Schale: No, it only seems like Charlie Crist is losing

    Blog

    From Charlie Crist adviser Steve Schale, making the case, again, that everyone should ignore that more Republicans have voted so far than Democrats, and focus on how Democrats are doing better with their early and mail-in votes than they were in 2010 when Scott sqeaked to victory:

    With three days in the early voting books, lets take a quick look at where we are today in the Florida Governor's race....

  4. GOP vote lead over Dems in Fla grows

    Blog

    Marc Caputo crunches to numbers:

    More than 1.3 million Floridians have cast absentee and in-person early-vote ballots and Florida Republicans continue to have a strong lead over Democratic ballots cast: 142,000.

    Yesterday morning, the GOP lead was almost 138,000.

    There’s a sliver of good news in here for Democrat Charlie Crist: the GOP’s advantage in terms of percentages has fallen slightly from 11.7 percent to 10.8 percent....

  5. Video: Rudy Giuliani's revenge on Charlie Crist

    Blog

    Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who says Charlie Crist promised him his endorsement for president in 2008 before endorsing John McCain, campaigned in Miami today for Rick Scott.

     

    Here's what Giuliani had to say about Rick Scott in 2010, as Scott was about to snatch the Republican gubernatorial nomination away from Giuliani's former Florida chairman, Attorney General Bill McCollum:...

  6. Here's the latest anti-Charlie Crist TV spot

    Blog

    Released by the Republican Party of Florida, the latest ad continues with the familiar slick politician/lousy governor theme.

    There are two ways to look at the pre-Election Day ballots being cast in Florida: compare them to 2012 or 2010.

  7. Should we compare this year's early votes to '10 or '12? Either way, GOP is winning

    Blog

    Marc Caputo crunches the numbers:

    There are two ways to look at the pre-Election Day ballots being cast in Florida: compare them to 2012 or 2010.

    Republicans would prefer 2012. It was a high watermark for Democrats with Obama at the top of the ticket and, within two days of early in-person voting, they started to eclipse the Republican advantage rolled up after two weeks of absentee voting. Democats wound up with a total 1 percentage point lead, after having trailed by about 6 percentage points....

  8. Here's the Florida GOP's favorite moment of gov debate

    Blog

    The Florida GOP is sending far and wide a clip from the CNN gubernatorial debate where Charlie Crist suggests "It's worth it" if someone loses their job because of a minimum wage increase.


     

  9. Four takeaways from the final Fla gov debate

    Blog

    The final televised debate between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist was certainly entertaining, much as boxing matches or arguments between two adolescents can sometimes be amusing to watch. If, however, viewers of the hour-long CNN debate Tuesday night hoped it would make them more enthusiastic about their choice or help them decide, they probably wound up disappointed.

    Four takeaways from the high-stakes, final debate in Florida's tied race for governor....

  10. The final Scott-Crist debate: Four takeaways

    State Roundup

    The final televised debate between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist was certainly entertaining, much as boxing matches or arguments between two adolescents can sometimes be amusing to watch. If, however, viewers of the hourlong CNN debate Tuesday night hoped it would make them more enthusiastic about their choice or help them decide, they probably wound up disappointed.

    Four takeaways from the high-stakes, final debate in Florida's tied race for governor....

    DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, right, talks to Ken Evans at a watch party in Plantation as they watch Tuesday night's debate between the two candidates running for governor.
  11. Team Rick Scott: Charlie Crist's weak ground game is delivering us second term

    Blog

    FROM:         Tim Saler, Deputy Campaign Manager
    TO:        Campaign Supporters
    DATE:        October 21, 2014
    SUBJECT:    Charlie Crist’s Early Voting Meltdown

    The first day of early voting is in the books, and Charlie Crist’s campaign is in complete meltdown.
    Charlie Crist's campaign is a carbon copy of the Obama playbook. Charlie’s path to victory was to duplicate Obama’s success in absentee ballots and lay down a huge early voting advantage that couldn't be beaten on Election Day.
    We already know that the wheels have come off Crist’s absentee ballot effort, with Republicans up 14 points on absentee returns -- in comparison, Republicans were up only 5 points at this stage in 2012.
    Now, with the first day of early voting behind us, we know Crist’s early voting operation isn’t getting it done either. In the 2008 and 2012 Obama victories, Democrats jumped out to their largest early voting leads in the first two days, and Republicans closed the gap.
    At this same date in 2008, Democrats out-voted Republicans by 24 points in early votes.
    Today, Republicans have cut that advantage by 22 points, with one county still outstanding to report.
    In 2012, early voting didn’t begin for another four days, but even then, Democrats led early voting by 13 points after the first day. Charlie Crist’s campaign isn’t close to achieving those kinds of margins.
    And Crist’s campaign even got a head start. Republican strongholds like Collier County don’t begin voting until Thursday, and strong Republican counties like Bay County don’t begin voting until this upcoming Saturday.
    Even in Crist’s base counties, Republicans are out-performing Democrats. In 2012, Republicans made up only 17 percent of early voters in Broward County. Today, the Republican share of early voters in Broward County is already up 5 points – a 30% increase compared to two years ago.
    The story is the same in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. In 2012, Republicans made up 23 percent of early voters. Today, the Republican share in Palm Beach County is already up 5 points as well – a more than 20% increase compared to 2012. And in Miami-Dade County, the Republican share is up 8 points already – a nearly 35% increase.
    All across Florida, we are seeing the same thing – Rick Scott supporters are energized and voting, while Charlie Crist’s own base is simply not turning out. The Crist campaign’s master plan to replicate Barack Obama’s 2012 performance has fallen completely apart.
    As Charlie Crist likes to say, facts are stubborn things. Here’s a particularly stubborn fact for Charlie: Election Day is already here – and Rick Scott is winning. Even Charlie Crist, the same guy who raised taxes by $2.2 billion during a recession, can’t come up with enough fuzzy math to cover for the fact that Democrats simply aren’t turning out to vote for him.
    Thank you for everything you do. It’s just 14 days until victory, and your continued support will get us there....

  12. Stuff we learned about Tom Slade yesterday

    Blog

    Darryl Paulson, the retired USF St. Pete political scientist who had been working on a book about the rise of the Florida Republican Party, was kind enough to share with me his notes from his 2005 interview with Tom Slade. Some nuggets:

    ***Money.  "I ‘discovered how to raise big money,”" Slade said, recounting his meeting with J.W. Wolfe, patriarch of a Columbus, OH banking and newspaper family, a "gruff old SOB' who Slade said was  “five-foot-four and 10 feet around” and wanted to establish residency in Florida for tax purposes. Slade suggested one of the best ways of doing that was to establish a history of contributing to the state GOP. Wolfe wrote a check for $50,000, and Slade employed the same pitch to other recent retirees wanting to establish residency in the income tax-free Sunshine State. Party funds rose from $7 million to $34 million.
    ***Jeb Bush. “Bright,” “principled,” “but uncompromisingly steadfast, without tolerance for any advice.”  “dictatorial.”  Brought in young people.  “Doesn’t seek advice well.”  “Lacks maturity to be president of the United States.”  “arrogant as hell, but so is George....Jeb “is the 1400 pound gorilla” on the back of the Rep Party.”  He is its strength, but he is also dominating.  He predicted we would soon “hear a sigh of relief from leg” as Jeb’s influence diminished after leaving office. (Slade later said he was describing his former opinion of Jeb)
    ***Mel Martinez:  “Class act in every respect.”  “A likeable trial lawyer, and that’s hard to find.”
    ***Lawton Chiles. He never saw the Republican wave coming.  The Republican revolution was not due to any “masterstroke” by Reps, but by a convergence of factors.  It was the “perfect political storm.”
    ***How luck helped the RPOF: The 1992 reapportionment in particular was a turning point. Democrats controlled the process with a Democratic governor and majority of the House and Senate, but they hurt themselves by failing to gree on Congressional districts. It was left to the Federal Courts who created two majority black districts and one minority influence district.  When Paulson told Slade that he had been hired by the Fla NAACP to help them argue for minority districts and testified in court about the long history of racial discrimination in voting, Slade responded, “Here’s to you, brother.”
    ***Future growth. He believed Republicans then had more or less reached their zenith in Florida and that reapportionment in 2002 could help the Democrats regain legislative ground. He saw Bill Nelson's Senate seat as the biggest target for Republicans.
    ***The biggest threat to the Florida GOP? Itself. "We must be careful not to be our own worst enemy."...

  13. Florida GOP pioneer Tom Slade dies at 78

    State Roundup

    Tom Slade, one of the smartest, funniest and most consequential political operators in modern Florida history, died Monday afternoon at age 78.

    "I can't think of anyone as instrumental in the development of the modern Republican Party as Tom Slade," said retired University of South Florida St. Petersburg political scientist Darryl Paulson, who has studied the state party extensively. "Jeb Bush, in many respects, could not be possible without Tom Slade."...

    Tom Slade “inspired others to get on board,” former Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday.
  14. GOP Pioneer Tom Slade dies at 78

    Blog

    Tom Slade, one of the smartest, funniest, and most consequential political operators in modern Florida history, died this afternoon at age 78, his sister confirms.

    "I can't think of anyone as instrumental  in the development of the modern Republican Party as Tom Slade," said retired USF St. Petersburg political scientist Darryl Paulson, who has studied the state party exensively. "Jeb Bush many respects could not be possible without Tom Slade."...

  15. Tom Slade in critical condition

    Blog

    From a release:

    Tom Slade, former Florida State Senator and State Representative and perhaps best known for his leadership as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida from 1993-1999, today is in critical condition after suffering heart failure last week.  He was unable to be revived for a period of time and is now receiving care at Orange Park Medical Center.

    The Slade family is asking for your thoughts and prayers at this time. An update will be provided as more information is available. ...