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Herman Cain Wins Florida Straw Poll

Catherine Green |
September 24, 2011 | 3:10 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

GOP contender Herman Cain. (Wikimedia Commons)
GOP contender Herman Cain. (Wikimedia Commons)
Businessman Herman Cain swept the straw poll in Florida, the St. Petersburg Times reported Saturday. Texas Governor Rick Perry came in second with 15 percent behind Cain's 37 percent in a vote of 2,657 that has in the past ultimately determined the Republican Party's nomination. 

Despite leading in national polls, Perry had begun to face criticism within his party. That doubt made itself known in Florida's vote and Republican analysts are saying the Texas Governor's campaign may be leaking oil.

The poll results are also seen as a blow to former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney who finished third, a point behind Perry. Cain's victory comes as a major surprise and is seen as a signal that the Republican field remains greatly unsettled.

The Florida poll, however, might have done more damage to Perry than good for Cain who is still is seen as a long-shot.

As the St. Petersburg Times reported:

Leon County delegate Fred Gonzalez, now a Cain backer, said the longer Perry has remained in the race, the more he has looked elsewhere. Perry's answers on immigration and his executive order attempting to inoculate girls from the human papillomavirus just weren't satisfying. Perry's debate style was even worse.

"All these things add up. And then he fumbled on stage," Gonzalez said. "Why can't we get someone who can speak, who's articulate?" he asked, noting that there hasn't been a great GOP presidential communicator since, well, the great communicator Ronald Reagan.

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