Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll Saturday, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential frontrunner who just two days earlier delivered a debate performance that was widely panned.
Cain finished with 37 percent of the vote, while Perry trailed with 15 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed with 14 percent while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum drew 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul finished with 10.5 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished with 2 percent.
Congratulations to Herman Cain, and to Jon Huntsman who came in with 2%–which is 1 point higher than Michelle Bachmann, whose campaign is all but finished at this point.
All joking aside, it ‘s an impressive result for Cain, but we can’t make much of it until further polling data confirms Cain’s actual standing among the candidates. I’m curious to see how the next few weeks pan out, but it seems as if Republican voters are sick and tired of the Romney vs. Perry bitch-fest. Romney is a non-starter for so many grassroots conservatives, and Perry’s star seems to flame out the more they learn about him. Nobody really knows at this point.
My guess is that voters are still not impressed with the current batch of contenders. No candidate is ever without flaws, but I’m getting the feeling that voters seem to think that these individual flaws are not mitigated by big enough plusses.
Nevertheless, a big congratulations is in order for Herman Cain–excellent work in making this silly season especially more entertaining.
Meanwhile, you know who this really helps? Stacy McCain. He hasn’t been on the Cain bandwagon—he’s been the coach driver.
This is hysterically brutal:
South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian held a brief conference call just now to welcome “ambassador, governor, Democrat, Republican Jon Huntsman” to the 2012 presidential race.
Huntsman is planning a visit to South Carolina this week and has signaled that the state is a crucial stop in his GOP primary map. That’s good news for him, Harpootlian said, because “we always welcome Obama administration officials in South Carolina.”
The quotable trial lawyer mocked Huntsman as a political “schizophrenic” who’s “very similar to Mitt Romney” in his flexibility on issues such as cap and trade.
“Between Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, we have, actually, four candidates rather than two,” said Harpootlian, who also scoffed at the idea that Huntsman can take the “high road” in 2012 and avoid negative campaigning.
That pledge will last “about two seconds” in South Carolina, Harpootlian predicted: ”The high road is the road above the fray and you can’t run for political office in South Carolina without getting in the fray.”
The Huntsman campaign is barely 12 hours old, and it’s already seeing turbulence from a key primary state. Worth noting is that Huntsman is the media’s choice to be the GOP’s nominee, the candidate that the party “should” nominate for 2012.
Rule of thumb–when the media picks the candidate for the GOP, find someone else.