Although Hispanics in Florida traditionally support Republicans in greater numbers than is the case on a national basis, Obama did receive 57 percent of that demographic in the Sunshine State in 2008 (President Bush took 56 percent of that vote in 2004).
In his brief comments at the Armenia Street office, Sanchez praised Vice President Joe Biden's debate performance from Thursday night, which has re-energized most Democrats, depressed after President Obama's lackluster debate the previous week in Denver.
"How 'bout that Joe Biden!," he shouted to cheers, before making his pitch for the president, though he admitted he was "preaching to the choir."
Emphasizing the importance in voting and getting other friends to the polls, Sanchez reminded the audience that with just one exception since 1960, whichever presidential candidate has won Tampa and Hillsborough County has gone on to win the general election.
Sanchez is a Tampa native who lost in a runoff election to Pam Iorio for Tampa Mayor in 2003. He was introduced by a fellow Tampa Cuban-American who has worked in the Commerce Department, Elio Muller.
Tampa City Council members Mary Mulhern and Lisa Montelione were on hand as well. Montelione says she's not phased in the least by Romney's recent surge.
"There was bound to be a little bit of a bounce after the debate on one side or the other," she said. "I thought Governor Romney did a good job presenting himself well and ...controlling the conversation. He put forth a different face than I think you see on commercials and on the little snippets you see on news shows."
Having worked to help Obama in 2008, she denied the assertion that the enthusiasm isn't the same this time around. "I think the excitement for Barack Obama is as strong now as it was before," she insisted.
As all eyes turn towards Long Island, New York this coming Tuesday night for the second presidential debate, Frank Sanchez says his boss has to challenge Mitt Romney on his changing stances. "Whenever Mitt Romney says something inconsistent, we need to call him on it. And my gosh, he's been turning on just about every issue. It could be abortion, tax cuts, health care. You name an issue and Mitt's been on every side of that issue."
Obama officials say "Casa Obama" will be a community space for volunteers to contact potential voters, both via the telephone as well as providing lists to canvass in the surrounding West Tampa neighborhood. Their chief goal now is to encourage the base to vote right now, which they can do by driving to one of four different Supervisor of Elections offices in the county to fill out an absentee ballot.
On personal note, the 53-year-old Sanchez announced that he will soon be a married man, introducing his fiance Jackie Roberts to the crowd. He says they met through a mutual friend in Washington earlier this year.