Skip to comments.Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll in stunning victory; Rick Perry in deep trouble
Posted on 09/24/2011 5:24:39 PM PDT by iowamark
From the bottom of the polls to the top of the pack, businessman Herman Cain won the Republican Party of Floridas nationally watched presidential straw poll Saturday in a sign that frontrunner Rick Perry is in deep trouble.
Cains victory with 37 percent of the vote was a major defeat for Perry, the frontrunner in Florida and national polls, who garnered only 15 percent after wooing the nearly 3,000 party faithful with a free breakfast and mailers.
The vote also showed how soft Republican support is for Mitt Romney, who came in third with 14 percent. Unlike Perry, though, he avoided schmoozing the GOP voters, called delegates.
"Folks, this is what you call momentum," Cain, the former CEO of Godfathers Pizza, said in a video message from his campaign bus. "The Herman Cain train is picking up steam."
That means more national media attention, heightened standing in the race and access to more fundraisers.
The straw poll is a mock election and doesnt necessarily reflect the sentiment of the voters at large. In past years, it has predicted the partys national nominee, but that streak could be in jeopardy because even some Cain voters had doubts about whether he was ready to be the partys nominee.
Still, the vote is a major indication of how badly damaged Perry was by a poor debate performance Thursday when he fumbled answers and failed to give specifics.
Many straw poll voters were especially dissatisfied by the answers Perry gave over his moderate immigration position, the Ponzi scheme of Social Security and his plan to inoculate girls from human papillomavirus.
I came in thinking Rick Perry, said Tommy Langford,a Gilchrist County commissioner who voted for Cain. I didnt like the debate at all. I really thought Perry lost it. Mitt Romney called him on immigration. He said we have to take care of them. Not if theyre illegal, we dont.
Another big loser: Michele Bachmann, who came in last place. Once a top-tier candidate who won the Iowa straw poll, she has fallen from sight in the debates where she, too, fails to give specifics, excite delegates here or even reach out to them.
Perry issued a written statement congratulating Cain, saying the vote underscored the fact that the conservative message of job creation, fiscal responsibility and limited government is gaining momentum.
Floridians and voters nationally want a candidate who is clear on the issues and talks honestly about the future, Perry said, not someone who takes multiple sides of an issue and changes views every election season. Todays vote demonstrates that Floridians are energized and ready to help get America working again.
Pinellas County delegate Rachelle Warmouth said that, if Perry lost, it wouldnt be the end of his campaign. But when or lose, the debate performance and the effect its having on party loyalists are a call to step up his game.
Hell have to have a strong recovery, she said. He needs to focus on his message.
Warmouths friend, Eileen Blackmer, agreed: He needs to work on the three Cs: Be clear, be concise, be complete.
Lee County delegate Dane Eagle said hes for Romney. He likes the candidates message and polish on stage. And he fears that President Obama would walk all over Perry in debates.
Thats what Obama does, Eagle said. He debates.
St. Johns County delegate Randy Covington said he arrived in Orlando ready to vote for Perry, but the debate "shattered" that plan. Covington decided to support Cain after the businessman"s rousing speech on Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. That event was wedged in between the partys Presidency 5 Thursday debate and Saturday straw poll.
But Convington said he wasnt sure if Cain would or should be the nominee. He said the primary shouldnt be a two-man race.
"We need this process to go on," Covington said.
Gov. Rick Scott, who announced the results from the Orange County Convention Center stage, said the candidates need to take very seriously whatever the results are.
"It shows you something. Florida is important," Scott said from the Orange County Convention Center stage. "It pays to be here."
Where’s all the perrywinkles you ask? They were legion here on FR only just recently?
They have moved over to the La Raza homepage to help organize a reconquista rally.
>>> You continue to speculate on Palin as VP for Cain. Sounds good at first, but makes NO sense at all.
Well, fortunately for me it’s just that... speculation.
A lot of people have been wondering why she hasn’t jumped in yet.... THAT is what doesn’t make sense to me... unless she already has a position zipped up.
I don’t know... maybe she’s just playing decoy.
If she is, she’s doing a great job of it.
herman earned it.
I find Cain to be very impressive. Strong conservative that never waivers from his beliefs. Loved his comments on the EPA and his hit back at Morgan Freeman over the Tea Party remarks. Cain, Newt, Perry are my top 3 ..Santorum came on strong during the last debate too.
It’s the Perry Shamnesty, Loser!
and Michelle Gardasil’s butt even more than that.
I love this.
The idea of putting a real CEO in charge of the Executive Branch following a proven business plan (the Constitution of the United States of America) - seems fitting.
“Cain is more than able” is a good one too
This shows that the Republican field is still very fluid, but what was the factor that lifted Cain to the top here?
Herman Cain's win in Florida just goes to show how much the people want a president who is not of the beltway crowd. Once Palin enters the race, she'll become the one to beat. (but they won't)
Cain has elevated himself to be a strong choice for her VP.
IMHO the very same factor, which led to the GOP sweep in the last elections...
This is a very encouraging day.
No way Cain won. All of us Florida republicans are racist from what the media tells us
That was a good one
Would you want me to vote for ANYONE with an R after their name?
I'm sure you don't.
People are sick of professional pandering politicians.
(Thanks but can’t take credit for the idea, I’ll sure put one on my car though.)
I like it.
Cain vs Unable
So Texas and New York and Florida should not be allowed to decide for themselves in regards to gay marriage?
The Federal Government should decided and then cram the "One Size Fits All" decision down the throat of all 50 States?
Be very, very careful about trampling State's Rights in favor of increasing Federal Government Power because the results you WILL get are NOT what you apparently THINK you will get.
Majority of Americans support gay marriage in poll ..... Fifty-three percent of Americans support making gay marriage legal, a Gallup poll showed on Friday, a marked reversal from just a year ago when an equal majority opposed same-sex matrimony.
Perry's position is keeping gay marriage out of Florida.
Your wish to strip States of the right to decide about gay marriage for themselves and to hand that power over to the Federal Government would be bringing gay marriage to Florida whether Florida wants it or not.
Cain scored higher than Perry and Romney combined.