In a new Zogby poll that was taken in the three days following the most recent Republican presidential debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, the man who rocketed past Mitt Romney as soon as he announced his candidacy and hs been the presumed frontrunner, has plummeted 18% among likely Republican voters and likely Republican primary voters. Benefiting from this drop was not the former frontrunner, Mitt Romney. That swing in voter sentiments went to none other than Herman Cain, the man who on the very last day that this poll was taken, shook the political world with his first place showing in the Florida “Presidency 5” Straw Poll.
According to the latest poll, Herman Cain increased his support by 16% percent since September 2nd. In the same time period, Texas Governor Rick Perry lost 19% percent of his support and Mitt Romney picked up 3%.
For Herman Cain, this means that a star is born. But it is important to remember that stars fall to earth faster than they rise and frontrunner status nows makes Cain a target. A target of his Republican opponents, liberals, and the mainstream media which had already begun to abuse Cain before his win in the Florida straw poll. So how long Cain can maintain frontrunner status is questionable, but one thing is for sure. This news now breathes new life into a campaign that Herman Cain has twice considered ending.
For Cain, the results of this poll could be as significant or even more so than the Florida straw poll victory. Unlike Presidency 5, the Zogby reflects not a state sentiment that could be written off to regional appeal, it is the reflection of Republican attitudes nationally. That can provide Herman Cain with the ability to raise significant anounts of money and add strength to his campaign.
As for the rest of the field, they must come to grips with something which I have been stating repeatedly. Voters from the TEA movement to your traditional conservative base, do not want politics-as-usual. They want an anti-establishment candidate, the non-politician. And they don’t just ant any non-politician. They don’t want a Ross Perot-like moderate. They don’t want some Kumbaya candidate who promises to “compromise” for the sake of moving the same, failed political agenda forward. They want someone who will defend traditional American values, and enforce a pro-growth, liberty based free-market approach to our economy. And they want someone who will do so not by promising to tinker with the failed policies. They want someone who will, as Herman Cain said in Florida, “alter and abolish” the failed approaches and policies of Washington, D.C.
At the moment that man is Herman Cain. And it is that way because none of the other candidates have convincingly put forth a reform agenda that dramatically changes either the way Washington works or the failed and outdated policies holding us back. All the other candidates are being overshadowed by the political reputations that precede them. Meanwhile Herman Cain is discussing things as scrapping the current tax code.
But there are several important points to remember. Herman Cain is quite inexperienced at campaigning. And while his lack of experience as a politician is a plus for him right now, at some point experience will be an issue and voters are going to want to know that Herman Cain has the know-how to achieve that which he promises within the very political system that he contradicts.
Point two. Rick Perry may be don but he is not out. The best example of that is Bill Clinton in 1992.
Early on in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton had low national poll numbers. He was running against Jerry Brown, Paul Tsongas, Robert Kerry, and Tom Harkin. He lost in Iowa and while trying to compete in New Hampshire against Paul Tsongas, the Senator from neighboring Massachusetts, Clinton got caught up in the Gennifer Flowers scandal. Despite Tsongas having favorite son status in the Granite State, Clinton was leading over Tosngas in the polls. Then when the Flowers scandal broke, he plummeted. But when the primary was over Clinton still pulled off surprising second place showing.
- Paul E. Tsongas 33.2%
- Bill Clinton* (24.8%)
- Bob Kerrey (11.1%)
- Tom Harkin (10.2%)
- Jerry Brown ( 8.0%)
Even though Clinton lost, his ability to come in second caused him to be dubbed the Comeback Kid. So Rick Perry cn easily comeback. Just because he faltered in the most recent debate does not mean he broke his leg and needs to be shot. He can survive and live to run a powerful campaign despite his ” having no heart” remark which will continue to haunt him.
The third point. Mitt Romney has been maintaining a consistent percentage of support that is in the mid teens. This consistency means something. It means that unlike all the other candidates, Romney has a solid base. He has yet to experience wild swings in his poll numbers. Such a fact means that Romney’s consistency as a candidate could prove to be a major factor that leads to his winning in the end.
The last and final point is the wildcard. It is the opportunity for a candidate like Sarah Palin or Chris Christie to jump into the race and suck the air right out of the room. It is also the possibility that someone like Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich turns things around with a series of events and positions and missteps by some of the top tier candidates. Ultimately, the variables are endless and anything can still happen. Did you think that Herman Cain was actually going become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination with just a little more than three months to go before the Iowa caucuses?
The only thing that is looking certain, is the decline of President Obama.
In the same Zogby poll that has Cain ahead of the pack, 57% of voters disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, and only 37% believe he deserves to be reelected.
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