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.