Yes We Cain! Herman Cain Wins Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share  From a pool of 2,657 registered Presidency 5 voters in Florida’s presidential straw poll , Herman Cain pulled off a significant victory by a significant margin, upsetting both favorite Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

The Final vote was as follows:

 
 

986 votes  –  37.1%   –   Herman Cain

428 votes  –  15.4%    –  Rick Perry

372 votes  –  14.0%   –   Mitt Romney

289 votes  –  10.9%   –  Rick Santorum

276 votes  –  10.4%   –   Ron Paul

224 votes  –    8.4%    –  Newt Gingrich

  60 votes  –    2.3%    –   Jon Huntsman

  40 votes  –    1.5%    –   Michele Bachmann

 
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. 
 
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Florida P5 Straw Poll Poised to Change Political Landscape

Large Number of Undecided P5 Voters Could Produce Surprise Strength for Mitt Romney and Herman Cain

Bookmark and Share    Today the eyes of the American political world are focused on Florida where the state’s Republican Party is conducting its P5 Straw Poll (5th presidential straw poll).  In advance of it, Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott promised that the winner of Presidency 5 would be the winner of the state’s Republican presidential primary.  And many believe that the winner of Florida’s Republican presidential primary may ultimately become the Republican presidential nominee.  In recent years, no one has become the nominee without winning Florida and the state G.O.P. has become proud to claim that the road to the White House must go through Florida.
 
Going into the straw poll, Texas Governor Rick Perry was largely viewed as the likely winner of it.  But that prediction is now being downplayed after his poor debate performance on Thursday night.  An on the ground sense of P5 voters seems to indicate that a large number of participants in the poll were undecided and in the wake of the debate, many seem to be shifting Mitt Romney’s way and those who were leaning Perry’s way, are now reconsidering their support of him.
 
Despite these predicted trends, Perry should still be considered the frontrunner in the Florida straw poll but with a large field of candidates and a great deal of strength from back tier candidates like Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, could easily hurt Perry and allow Romney or even someone else to take the top spot.
 
One significant factor will be the regional influence of Herman Cain.
 
For over twenty years, Florida conservatives, particularly evangelical conservatives have been afforded the opportunity to spend time with Cain every weekday through his long running Atlanta based radio talk show.  Another benefactor of Southern regional influence will be Newt Gingrich who became Speaker of the House while representing his Georgia congressional district.   Then there is also TEA movement favorite Michele Bachmann who also appeals to evangelical conservatives.
 
These strong blocs of support which have great enthusiasm for their favorites will make it not impossible, but harder for Perry to take the number one spot.  That is especially the case after he lost the confidence of many through his remark about those who disagreed with his view about offering in-state, discounted tuition incentives to illegal immigrants.  According to Perry, those who didn’t see it his way, had “no heart”.  Benefiting from their rebuttal to that comment, were former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and particularly Mitt Romney. Yesterday, the day after Perry’s offensive debate statement, in a speech to the CPAC Florida conference,  Romney noted “My friend Gov. Perry said if you don’t agree on his position to give in-state tuition to immigration, you don’t have a heart,”. He went on to say, “If you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”
 
In addition to the recent hit Perry is taking and that Mitt Romney is exploiting, another influencing factor in P5 is the fact that Romney already has a strong organization in Florida and has maintained a presence there since his strong showing in the state’s 2008 Republican presidential primary.  Still it is important to note that Romney skipped participating in the straw poll.  at the same time, Rick Perry has remained in the state since Thursday and even addressed a gathering of Florida Republican delegates at a P5 breakfast.
 
The largest unknown quantity in this straw poll will be Ron Paul.
 
Paul usually performs quite well in such relatively informal contests that are much easier to dominate by a loyal band of organized supporters who can dominate with an exaggerated showing of support that does not accurately reflect the broader sentiment of the general electorate.   But the P5 event will be a bit more difficult for Paul to control.
 
All things considered, I suspect that Perry will eek out a win, but Romney will probably have a stronger showing than expected.  But I wouldn’t set that in stone because Romney may very well surprise us all.  Then again, Herman Cain might actually be able t pull off a real game changing upset and have a stronger showing than Perry and Romney.
 
Throughout the day, the P5 event will be airing a live stream of the conference and the afternoon schedule is as follows:
 
1:30 PM  –  Governor Rick Scott
2:00 PM –  Ron Paul
2:20 PM –   Herman Cain
2:40 PM –  Rick Santorum
3:00 PM –  Jon Huntsman
3:20 PM –  Rick Perry
 
4:05 PM –  Straw Poll voting begins
 
5:45 PM –  Results to be announced
 ***All times Eastern Standard Time
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