Herman Cain’s upset victory was a direct result of Perry’s poor performance in Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in which he argued that those who did not believe in offering in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants, did “not have a heart”.
Those remarks, combined with good showing by both Romney and Cain, put Cain’s victory in to motion. During the past two days of Republican electioneering in Friday’s CPAC-FL conference and today’s Presidency 5 convention,there was a clear sense that participants were changing their minds from Perry to Cain and Romney.
In addition to that, unlike Perry and Romney, Herman Cain stayed in Florida since Thursday’s debate and attended today’s Presidency 5 event where he delivered a speech that tore the rough of the convention center. His speech struck at the heart of the limited government cause and beyond that, it conveyed to the audience, that he truly gets the need for real changes in the way government does business.
Cain’s vote which was more than twice the size of Perry’s second place vote total, is a strong sign that both Perry and Romney have a long way to go if they intend to win. The sentiment expressed in Florida today, was a definite indication that the G.O.P. is still looking for a hero and that neither Romney or Perry fit that description yet.
However, Herman Cain just might.
He is the perfect anti-establishment candidate. And that is what voters want. They do not want politics-as-usual. On top of that, Cain has an uncanny and quite natural ability to inspire conservatives with his words and tap into their hope for a responsible figure who can be a citizen leader, not a career politician.
But the P5 participants are a very Southern evangelical sampling of Republican activists and many of them are also quite familiar with Herman Cain. Many have made him a part of their lives every weekday via his Atlanta based radio talk show which is widely heard in that region of the U.S.. This gave Cain the perfect opportunity to be the vessel for which voters could send their protest vote through. That is not to say that Herman Cain did not earn today’s victory in his own right. He did. In his speech he not only demonstrated the capacity to lead, he provided inspiration to a movement that seeks the type of change that is meant to restore liberty to America. He also showed the career politicians that politics-as-usual will not be good enough this time around.
If Herman Cain can parlay this straw poll win into future victories remains to be seen. Not long ago, Minnesota Congresswoman Michel Bachmann won the famous Iowa Straw Poll in Ames. But by her 40 vote, last place finish in Florida, it is safe to say that her Iowa Straw Poll results did not get her very far.
One thing that this win is sure to do for Herman Cain, is propel him from back tier candidate, to serious contender. In addition to raising his name ID, this victory will help him raise money and inject a sizeable dose of dollars into his campaign war chest. What will also be interesting is whether or not South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s recent claim that she will be endorsing someone who is a true business person, is a reference to Herman Cain or Mitt Romney. After today’s surprise win by Cain, one has to wonder.
An endorsement of Cain by Governor Nikki Haley, is not likely but if it did happen, it would place Herman Cain in a position to win back-to-back primaries in South Carolina and Florida………….a scenario that few have imagined, up till now.
On the flip-side of the coin, the man who probably faired worst in this contest was Ron Paul.
Paul’s fans are usually good at hijacking straw polls with ringers brought in from all over the place. But Presidency 5 is unlike Iowa and other straw polls. Participants in P5 must be certifies as registered Republicans through their county organizations. Such certification allows for a more accurate measure of Republican sentiments than do other forums which do not create conditions similar to actual primary contests.
But regardless of anyone else, today belongs to Herman Cain. Today he stunned the political world and put himself on the map. There’s a new candidate in town as of today and he promises to make sure that voters don’t just rollover for the perceived frontrunners. As of today, Herman Cain is going to ensure that the Republican who is nominated president, earns the nomination.