Rich Galen

 

Just before 6 PM Saturday, the remarkably efficient information loop known as Twitter exploded with the news that Herman Cain had won the straw poll in Florida. The (rounded) results were:

Cain 37 percent

Rick Perry 15

Mitt Romney 14

Rick Santorum 11

Ron Paul 10.5

Newt Gingrich 8.5

Jon Huntsman 2

Michele Bachmann 1

The conclusion of many of America's top political writers (in 140-character chunks) was, "that ringing sound you hear is the death knell of the six-week-old campaign of Texas Governor Rick Perry."

I pointed out, via that same Twitterverse, that six weeks previous Michele Bachmann had won the Iowa straw poll and received just one percent on Saturday. The life cycle of any bump Herman Cain receives as the result of this can be expected to end on or about October 29.

Earlier this month it was reported that, the Perry campaign, "confirms to the St. Petersburg Times that the Texas governor is all in" for the straw poll. The paper quoted campaign spokesman, Ray Sullivan saying "Gov. Perry is fully committed to participating in [the straw poll].

Yeah, well.

Neither Romney nor Bachmann worked the delegates very hard, but the conventional wisdom - continuing its unbroken string of fallibility - was that one of them would pick up supporters following Perry's weak performance in Thursday night's debate. They didn't. It went to Cain.

SIDEBAR

I proved once again that I don't know what I'm talking about when I wrote, immediately following the debate, that the three winners were Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry.

This is why I am contemplating enrolling in ITT Tech to become a slip cover and drapery sales professional.

"Will you be wanting the contrasting piping on those cushions?"

END SIDEBAR

Nevertheless, Herman Cain did a great job in his speech to the delegates and they rewarded him with nearly 40 percent of the straw poll votes.

The aftershock in Twitter-dom was that win by Cain would, of course, mean that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would change his mind about entering the race for President.

This, in spite of the fact that we are in the middle of watching what happens when a popular governor gets onto the national political stage. Gov. Perry is being pummeled on everything from HPV to in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants.

Perry's campaign is probably longing for the good old days when all they had to fend off were charges that he is wrong in his assertion that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme."

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released about a month ago, Gov. Christie's approve/disapprove is evenly split at 46/47. Not exactly a launching pad for a national race.

And we don't know how Christie would perform in a debate when the issues range far outside those normally dealt with by even a Governor whose state is in both the New York and Philadelphia media markets.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting in this morning's paper that:

"Mr. Christie's aides say the governor hasn't budged from his months-long insistence that he won't enter the presidential fray, despite what one described as a 'relentless' stream of calls over the last week from prominent Republicans urging him to run."

As I write this on Sunday night, there have been no new national polls released since early last week, so we don't know what kind of bounce, if any, Herman Cain will get out of his Florida win.

On Sunday, Mitt Romney romped to an easy win in a straw poll that was held on Mackinac Island as part of the state's Republican Leadership Conference. According to the Detroit News

"Romney got 51 percent of the 681 ballots cast, followed by Perry with 17 percent and Cain with 9 percent.

"Rounding out the ballot were Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 8 percent; Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota with 4 percent; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia with 4 percent; former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania with 3 percent; and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman with 2 percent."

After the Republican won the Anthony Wiener seat in New York, University of Virginia's political science professor Larry Sabato Tweeted that neither polls nor special elections are predictive.

I responded that, nevertheless, it was always better to come in first than last both in polls and specials.

You should follow me on Twitter: @richgalen and share in this on-going mirth. 


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.