Why Cain’s opportunity could make or break his presidential challenge.

The Midwest Leadership Conference, held over the weekend in Minnesota, gave Herman Cain a big win in its presidential straw poll. It is an important conference as conservative and Republican activists and leaders from states including  Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota all attend. Their support will be crucial in any presidential election bid.

Cain won 53.6% of the poll, followed by Michele Bachmann with 12.2% ad Mitt Romney in third with 11.1%.

Cain’s momentum continues to build and was rounded off by a series of appearances on the Sunday shows, where he was quick to discuss the merits of his 9-9-9 plan, and was insistent on avoiding the controversy surrounding a pastor and supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry calling Mormonism a “Cult”.

Cain is speaking in simple terms and while there can be no doubt that he may be hindered by the lack of a strong grasp of foreign affairs issues at the present, he can rectify that in the coming months through briefings, research and lots of reading.

Cain is rising in the polls purely and simply because most American’s are concerned with the state of the economy, whether it be the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, American’s want someone to demonstrate an understanding of their pain and provide an answer they can understand. They are looking for a candidate willing and able to show leadership, this is why Cain continues to perform well.

Newt Gingrich has put forward an excellent in-depth live document to tackle the economic issues, Governor’s Huntsman and Romney have also released economic plans to address America’s woes however, it is the 9-9-9 plan’s catchy title and simplicity ease of explanation that is resonating with American’s.

Cain epitomises the American Dream, rising from a poor background and through a combination of perseverance and sheer hard work, he became a highly successful businessman. Cain can personalise his message more than any other candidate in the field, because he has overcome barriers and obstacles like no other during his career and life.

America needs a bold leader who is prepared to change the way Washington operates. It will not be an easy feat and will require someone who can work with both parties. Cain’s business background makes him ideally positioned to put aside, the bi-partisan juggernaut in Washington that has ground effective government working in Washington to a near halt. He will be able to bring a sense of urgency and focus to the role of president, that I would argue, other candidates possibly can’t, this being real life business experience and an understanding of the ordinary person’s woes.

Cain’s strength is that he for now is solely interested in turning around the economy. He knows what it will take to achieve this and above all, wants passionately to restore America’s economic fortunes. The big plus with a Cain presidency is that he won’t be as occupied, as a career long politician in terms of personal political cost, he asserts that he is willing and prepared to do what is necessary. I believe Cain can form the required coalitions to implement the legislative agenda to restart the American industrial engine.

Cain’s biggest test will come in tomorrow’s debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, which will be the GOP candidates first meeting since September 22 debate in Orlando, Florida.

Cain is now a recognised front runner so will have to expect a more aggressive onslaught from other GOP contenders for the party nomination then he has experienced up to now. As the debate is focussed on economic issues, tomorrow is critical for Cain to sell his 9-9-9 plan, as the answer and best solution for restoring American economic fortunes. If Cain gets bogged down with the attacks and fails to focus on his unique and distinct message, all the strong performances of recent weeks may be lost. He needs to avoid falling into the tactics of others and stay on message.

It will be interesting to observe the candidates placement during tomorrow’s debate. It may be possible that Cain will be placed in between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, if this occurs, it is important that he shows the energy of previous debates, but responds in a presidential manner to any questions or challenges presented during the debate.

Do well tomorrow night and Cain can solidify his standing as a real and serious front runner for the party’s nomination. If he fails to deliver on this most opportune of nights, he may find all his gains of recent weeks going very fast into reverse.

The New Hampshire debate is perhaps the biggest opportunity Cain will get to prove he can win the nomination, fail to perform and people will be looking to Perry or Gingrich to rival Romney going forward. It really is a critical night for Cain to win the hearts and minds of people with a strong performance and sell his economic plan.

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