Herman Cain Announces Candidacy For President

Outside of the conservative wing of the GOP, I think it’s fair to say that most Americans have no idea who Herman Cain is, which is something he’ll have to deal with now that he’s officially running for President:

Herman Cain – talk radio host, businessman, and favorite of tea party groups – announced his candidacy for president Saturday at noon in a rally at Atlanta’s Centennial Park. Cain’s bid is the longest of long shots, as few GOP voters know who he is. His numbers in most polls hover in the low single digits.

He’s never won a political race. If he makes it to the Oval Office the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza would be the first president to have not held another elective office since Dwight D. Eisenhower. And unlike Ike, Cain didn’t win World War II.

But of all the GOP hopefuls Cain may be the best public speaker. With his booming voice and practiced delivery he comes across a bit like an African-American Teddy Roosevelt. On first exposure some voters can swoon.

“Cain creates enthusiasm among those who do know him … and we learned in 2010 that fervent enthusiasm can make a real difference in voter turnout rates,” said Gallup poll editor-in-chief Frank Newport in a recent analysis.

Look at it this way: a May 17 Gallup survey found that Cain has only about 29 percent name recognition among self-described Republican voters. That’s bad at this stage in the game. It means barely more than a quarter of your most important target audience even knows that you exist.

So few voters listed Cain as their first presidential choice on a trail ballot in this poll that he only gets an asterisk in that category, denoting that he scored less than 0.5 percent.

But of those few voters who do know him, 71 percent have a favorable opinion, according to Gallup, and only 13 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Subtract the latter number from the former, and you get a “Positive Intensity” score of 58, says Gallup. That’s a really good such

National Journal says that Cain should not be discounted, and I think he does have the potential to gain a huge amount of the Tea Party/evangelical vote in states like Iowa. Furthermore, at this point Cain is basically a non-entity in the polls so he really has no place to go but up, how far he goes I don’t know right now but if he pulls off a surprise in the Iowa Caucuses, then anything could happen from there.

Charles Krauthammer, it seems, doesn’t agree, and argued on Fox News Channel last night that Cain is basically an “entertainment” candidate:

In the end, I think Krauthammer is right that Cain will not be the nominee, but he has a chance to become quite a star in the GOP over the coming year.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    Great!

  2. Southern Hoosier says:

    On first exposure some voters can swoon.

    Unlike Comrade Obama who only gave people a thrill up their leg.

    Chris Matthews: “I Felt This Thrill Going Up My Leg” As Obama Spoke

  3. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Yes we Cain…yes we Cain…yes we Cain…….

  4. Scott O. says:

    Any possible VP picks named Abel out there?

  5. Southern Hoosier says:

    Cain do!

  6. sam says:

    “Charles Krauthammer, it seems, doesn’t agree, and argued on Fox News Channel last night that Cain is basically an “entertainment” candidate:”

    I wouldn’t credit the K-man with any political insight. After all, he said that the real entertainment candidate, The Donald, was definitely going to run.

  7. ken says:

    One obvious question he will have to answer: Why does a black man associate with a party that caters to racists?

  8. Gustopher says:

    If he’s an “entertainment” candidate, that means he’ll be entertaining, right? I’m finding the Republican field pretty entertaining so far, but more is better.

  9. on-the-rocks says:

    ken, please provide some evidence when you make such doltish comments. There are racists in both parties, but this blanket statement carries little credibility.

    The Republican Party is the natural home for Black Americans. It was their first political champion after the Civil War. Herman is old enough to remember Jim Crow laws and he remembers that Democrats were the ones that controlled the South during the Jim Crow-era. The Republican Party is also friendlier to business than the Democrats, that is another reason for his allegiance.

    His pro-business/less regulation message resonates with Tea Partiers and we will see where this support takes him.

  10. Have a nice G.A. says:

    One obvious question he will have to answer: Why does a black man associate with a party that caters to racists?

    I make the point all time, why be a democrat when they support the murder of 1 out of every 2 black babies to keep the black population under control? Why support the party of the Klan? Why support the party that fought against civil rights?

    Why Obama why? But he don’t answer?

  11. Tano says:

    Cain do!

    You mean “Cain is able”?

  12. Tano says:

    The Republican Party is the natural home for Black Americans

    Is that so? Could you please explain then why it is that the Republican party routinely gets no more than 10% of the black vote?

    Is it your belief that black people are uniquely unable to understand their own interests?

  13. The Republican Party lost the black vote for at least a generation or two when Nixon decided to pursue the strategy of picking off Southern whites from the Democratic Party

  14. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Any possible VP picks named Abel out there?

    You mean “Cain is able”?

    hmm, what to make of this, hmm…..

  15. Southern Hoosier says:

    ken says: Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 14:01

    One obvious question he will have to answer: Why does a black man associate with a party that caters to racists?

    Probably for the same reason that Alan keys, Condoleezza Rice, Allen West,Clarance Thomas, Thomas Soul, Walter E Williams just to name a few are Republicans. probably they are doing what is best for their country and not selling out their race.

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – They’ve been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values. Now black conservatives are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement—and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of the nation’s first black president

    http://goo.gl/Me7I6

  16. Tano says:

    The Republican Party lost the black vote for at least a generation or two

    It seems like it is going to be more than a couple generations.
    And while Nixon’s southern strategy certainly accelerated the movement, the fact is that blacks started migrating to the Democratic party starting in the Depression. Many of the blacks who migrated north became part of the urban working class – and thus part of the Democratic Party’s natural base.

    It was the existence of a considerable black base in the Democratic party that spurred the decision, starting in the late forties, to embrace Civil Rights.

    It was probably historically necessary for the Democrats to be the ones to end segregation – the Republicans simply had no standing in the South. They were only able to move in to scarf up the old racists once the civil rights struggle had essentially been won.

  17. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    In the end, I think Krauthammer is right that Cain will not be the nominee,…

    He must be making headway because not too long ago you yourself stated that he definately would not be the GOP candidate. Today, you don’t sound so sure.

    If the Tea Party unites behind him, he will be the next president. But right now, the Tea Party is divided up between Bachman, Palin, and others who haven’t even declared that they are running, such as Allen West. But if he can convince another of these Tea Party candidates to run with him, he will be unbeatable.l

  18. Southern Hoosier says:

    Tano says: Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 16:20 It was probably historically necessary for the Democrats to be the ones to end segregation

    LOL! You have to be joking, right? Who integrated Little Rock High School? Who stood in the doorway at Ole Miss? Who controlled the clubs, the fire hoses and the dogs in Alabama? Who ordered the wiretapping of Dr. King? Who filibustered the Civil Rights Act 1964. Who voted against the Civil Rights Act 1964. Who raised the Confederate flag over the capital of South Carolina? Who took it down. Who created the Dixiecrats? Who changed the immigration laws to flood the market with cheap labor that cost Blacks jobs? Who oppose school vouchers in order to keep Blacks in failings schools? Who created the Great Society and the War on Poverty that destroyed Black families?

  19. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Southern Hoosier, you could probably take many liberals and some others here back in a time machine, stick their noises in it, and they still they would not believe.

  20. Tano says:

    SH,

    Why is this so complicated for you?
    It is obviously true that the Democratic party was historically the party of the South (as well as the northern working class, starting in the late 19th century). The Democrats were the party of slavery, of the Confederacy, and of segregation. No one disputes that.

    As I said before, it was therefore most likely a historical necessity that a political end to segregation (as opposed to a second civil war) would have come out of a reform wing of the Democratic party. The Republicans simply did not have any political standing in the South until after the Civil Rights movement won its major victories – until Nixon’s southern strategy to scarf up all the Southern Democrats who were massively alienated from their historic party.

    The Civil Rights movement was overwhelmingly a movement of the Northern Democratic Party (starting with Humphrey in ’48 at the convention, then Truman, and later the Kennedy brothers, along with some liberal Southern Democrats – most notably Lyndon Johnson. It was this victory of the liberal northerners that split the Democratic party, and caused the Southerns to leave to join the Republicans.

    The old-line Republicans, like Eisenhower, were somewhat sympathetic to Civil Rights, though rather reluctant to move very boldly. If those people had remained in charge of the Republican party, then there would have been a fair chance of the GOP holding on to at least some reasonable fraction of the black electorate. But the “new Republicans” – the hardline conservatives like Reagan and Goldwater, who were not at all sympathetic to civil rights – combined with the cynical opportunism of Nixon, defined the modern Republican party as the heirs of the old southern-democratic-segregationists, and hence their current near-invisibility in the black community.

  21. Scott O. says:

    G.A., no one is denying history. But in case you haven’t noticed we’re no longer living in the early 1960s.

  22. Tano says:

    Who stood in the doorway at Ole Miss?

    Who sent in the marshalls and federal troops?

    Who controlled the clubs, the fire hoses and the dogs in Alabama?

    Who was on the receiving end? Who sent in the troops, and the FBI to protect the marchers after the attacks?

    Who filibustered the Civil Rights Act 1964?

    Who wrote the Civil Rights Act and who signed it?

    Who created the Dixiecrats?

    Strom Thurmond.
    And other Southern Democrats on their way to becoming Republicans.

  23. ken says:

    There are racists in America. One party makes them feel at home and one party rejects them. Racists tend to go to the Republican party because they feel welcomed by the party policies and leaders.

  24. Southern Hoosier says:

    Tano says:
    Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 17:20

    SH,

    Why is this so complicated for you?

    It wouldn’t be if I ignored history the way you do,

  25. fake name says:

    @on-the-rocks

    The Republican Party is the natural home for Black Americans. It was their first political champion after the Civil War. Herman is old enough to remember Jim Crow laws and he remembers that Democrats were the ones that controlled the South during the Jim Crow-era.

    GOP, please…

  26. Have a nice G.A. says:

    G.A., no one is denying history.

    Oh my Darwin, you can not be serious.

    But in case you haven’t noticed we’re no longer living in the early 1960s.

    No crap, I am not the one stuck in the 60’s.

    And many here only know or will believe what is rewritten.

    And I am sick to death of fools who support the murder of 1 out of every 2 BLACK BABIES and then call me a racist as they come up with excuse after excuse and rationalization after rationalization.

    But whats a brother to do, type some more and pray I guess. I try to keep and open mind and not get angry like I used to. lol, mostly I try to be witty, and or stupid as I practice my sucky writing skills and get attacked like I stole somebodies last shot of wheat grass.

    Oh well….

  27. michael reynolds says:

    I can only pay attention to a few fantasy candidates at a time. Can anyone offer some guidance in choosing between Bachman, Cain, Palin, Gingrich and Santorum? I’ve got a two joke candidate limit and Trump already used up a lot of my time.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    Hoosier:

    Tano just gave you chapter and verse and you have a non-response. We’ve been through this with you before. Which means you can no longer claim ignorance, leaving you with only stupidity.

  29. Have a nice G.A. says:

    lol, Tano, lol, chapter and verse. lol. There is only one fantasy candidate, Obama the donkeycorn….so sexy….

  30. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says:
    Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 21:06

    Hoosier:

    Tano just gave you chapter and verse and you have a non-response

    And so did I. The way you and Tano act, the southern Democrats weren’t part of the Democrat Party.

  31. anjin-san says:

    the southern Democrats weren’t part of the Democrat Party.

    Well, since there is no such thing as “the Democrat Party”, except in the minds of abject idiots, maybe they have a point.

  32. michael reynolds says:

    Southern:

    Bullsh!t.

    Tano and I have both acknowledged the history of the Democratic party up to the 60’s. You refuse to acknowledge the facts since then.

  33. An Interested Party says:

    It is painful for some people to admit that the Democratic Party changed from what the southern portion of it was before the 1960s because admitting this won’t let them use their dishonest narrative about the supposedly racist “Democrat” Party…

  34. Have a nice G.A. says:

    We need a leader not a reader

    H.Cain.

  35. Southern Hoosier says:

    You keep talking about the 60’s like it was a major turning point in the Democratic Part. The Republicans didn’t take the South till 1972. Even though the Democrats had lost the white vote in 1972, not only in the South, but throughout the nation, the Democrats still had the same leaders and other party members. The Democrats carried the South in 1976. If Nixon was playing the race card, in the South, then he had to be playing it across the nation since he carried 49 out of 50 states.

    Emphasizing a good economy and his successes in foreign affairs (especially ending American involvement in Vietnam and establishing relations with China), Nixon won the election in a massive landslide

    Is a good economy and his successes in foreign affairs the race card that Nixon played to Southern voters?

  36. michael reynolds says:

    Southern:

    Now you just bore me. There’s no point in discussion with a person who simply invents an alternate reality. I’m done with you.

  37. Tano says:

    The Republicans didn’t take the South till 1972

    Contemplate, then explain to yourself, the colors on the map