Straw polls don’t mean anything, of course, unless your candidate wins, then it becomes monumentally important. That’s why this is monumentally important to me.
Fox News reports:
Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll Saturday, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential frontrunner who just two days earlier delivered a debate performance that was widely panned.
Cain finished with 37 percent of the vote, while Perry trailed with 15 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed with 14 percent while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum drew 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul finished with 10.5 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished with 2 percent.U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who won the Iowa straw poll in August, finished with just 1 percent of the vote.
Perry, who was expected to finish strong had told the more than 3,000 GOP activists who came from across the state that his rivals made a mistake by skipping the straw poll..
Here’s what Florida state representative Matt Gaetz tweeted before the vote:
Romney campaign is having their #Presidency5 delegates vote for Cain to skew results. #dirtytricks
If that’s true, and no one knows if it is, then Romney’s supporters might have pushed Mitt to second and Perry all the way down to third simply by sticking with their guy.
Hat tip: Drew at AoSHQ.
The Republican presidential candidate called the Oscar-winning actor’s eyebrow-raising remarks “short-sighted” on Friday. “Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Partiers about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party,” Cain told Fox News.
Freeman, who endorsed Obama in 2007, created a firestorm when he told CNN’s Piers Morgan earlier this week that conservative opposition to the President has enflamed racism in America. He added the Tea Partiers have the mentality of “Screw the country, we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here…It is a racist thing.”
Despite the criticism, Cain said he wasn’t offended by Freeman’s comments. “Name calling is something that is going to continue in this because they don’t know how to stop this movement and this movement is making a big difference in politics,” said Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza
The Other McCain: ORLANDO GOP STRAW POLL RESULTS UPDATE: Herman Cain Beats Rick Perry:
I’m told that people trying to make online donations at Herman Cain’s Web site have reported difficulty getting through because the traffic is so heavy. So while you’re waiting, how about hitting my tip jar instead?
If you’re interested in hearing about the behind the scenes maneuvering that led to this upset, Stacy’s been blogging about Cain, all day. While I was at Oktoberfest, riding the Octopus and eating funnel cake, he was busy reporting : CAIN-MANIA IN ORLANDO? UPDATE: 7 Standing Ovations for Cain; Vultures Circle Perry’s ‘Sunshine Special’?
CNN’s political reporter, Peter Hamby, offers his insights on Cain’s big win, today: