Businessman Herman Cain handily took the top spot at the Florida GOP straw poll which concludes the Presidency 5 event sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida. In truth, I was expecting Ron Paul or Mitt Romney to bring in the top spot so Herman Cain with a commanding win is a boon to his campaign.
Report from the Orlando Sentinel:
In a stunning upset, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain won the Florida Presidency 5 straw poll in Orlando after three days of spreading his fiery message about tough decisions for tough times.
Cain, who has never been elected to any office, took 37.4 percent of the vote by Republican delegates gathered at the Orange County Convention Center for the Presidency 5 weekend.
He blew away the field, which included the party’s most highly touted candidates. Texas Gov. Rick Perry finished second with 15.4 percent, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney finished third with 14 percent.
Cain received 986 of the 2,657 votes cast by delegates at the Orlando event.
“Thank you to the Republican voters for this incredible honor of being named the winner of the Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida today,” Cain said. “This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored. I will continue to share my message of ‘common sense solutions’ across this country and look forward to spending more time in Florida, a critical state for both the nomination and the general election.”
Here is the breakdown of the full results:
1. Herman Cain, 37.1%
2. Rick Perry, 15.4%
3. Mitt Romney, 14%
4. Rick Santorum, 10.9%
5. Ron Paul, 10.4%
6. Newt Gingrich, 8.4%
7. Jon Huntsman, 2.3%
8. Michele Bachmann, 1.5%
This will be a big boost for Cain’s campaign in the coming days and it is debatable what this means for the entire GOP field. If you think about the past several months, we’ve seen Romney consistently hold the “front runner” status along with Perry in recent weeks. Michele Bachmann almost earned that title when she began picking up momentum, however, Perry put a stop to that. Still, Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll some weeks back and now we see Herman Cain winning the Florida straw poll. The GOP electorate is still all over the map and I think this means that despite “front runner” status, this is a fairly wide open race.