The news about suspected Republican voter registration fraud in as many as 10 Florida counties is a weird commentary on the conservative GOP's national push to require photo IDs for voters to combat alleged fraud at the polls.

Multiple studies - including by Republican researchers - have found there is no serious plague of Election Day fraud anywhere. But the news out of Florida this past weekend points to some real fraud by a company funded by the national GOP.

It was so bad that the Republican National Committee announced it was severing its ties to Strategic Allied Consulting, the outfit now suspected of trying to register bogus voters for the GOP.

It's the latest in a series of strange developments in this year's election campaign.

If you're an economic determinist for presidential elections (as I am), you'd expect Barack Obama to be dead in the water at this point. Incumbent presidents almost always get defeated if the economy sucks as bad as it does now.

But the GOP seems to be determined to bail Obama out.

Mitt Romney's 47 percent comment seemed calculated to piss off the hard-pressed middle class. His flame-out over the crisis in Libya only emphasized his lack of polish in foreign affairs. The choice of Paul Ryan for vice president may have delighted the right wing, but Ryan's harsh budget priorities can only help to wake up Obama's core constituencies among minorities.

Then there's the "legitimate rape" furor ignited by Missouri Republican Todd Akin who's running for the U.S. Senate. Romney may have disavowed those comments but the Republican National Convention platform certainly didn't, and that's not helping to win any votes from women.

Hispanic voters could help decide a close election. Obama's immigration policies over the last four years haven't been popular at all with a great many Hispanics, with the exception of his recent action to allow undocumented "Dreamers" - who were brought to this country as kids - to stay here legally.

But Romney and Republican conservatives generally sound on immigration issues as if they're ready to write off Hispanics.

The middle class; foreign affairs; African Americans; women; Hispanics. And now the peculiar question of who is really committing voter fraud. What an interesting strategy.

Makes you wonder what's coming next in what almost feels like a "Republicans for Obama" campaign.