Former pizza executive Herman Cain dealt a major blow to Republican frontrunner Rick Perry, scoring a surprising upset victory in Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll today.
Cain, who has never been elected to public office, won 37% of the 2,657 votes cast. Perry trailed far behind in second with just 15% of the vote, right behind Mitt Romney. Romney won 14% of the vote, despite not competing in the poll.
The results are a bad sign for Perry, whose campaign was the only one to build a leadership team for Presidency 5. Perry’s team reportedly devoted significant resources to recruit delegates for the straw poll, but has spent the past two days trying to recover from Perry’s dismal debate performance Thursday night.
Rick Santorum took fourth place with 11% of the vote, followed by Ron Paul with 10%. Newt Gingrich took 8% and Jon Huntsman finished with 2%.
Michele Bachmann finished in last place, revealing just how far her campaign has sunk since her win in the Iowa straw poll last month.
Presidency 5 has, in the past, been a good predictor of who will win the Republican nomination. But most even most of the delegates who voted doubt Cain will win. The overall winner may have actually been Mitt Romney, who devoted no resources to the Straw Poll but came away with much the same result as his main rival, Perry.
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