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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Horserace Thread: Cain Wins P5 Straw Poll

Whoops.  It has been a very tough week for the GOP, desperately seeking consensus on issues of ideology and electability while rounding the first turn in their contest to select a presidential nominee.  And then it got stunningly worse after the collapse of their most recent favourite, Rick Perry, in the recent Orlando debate.  The conservative establishment quickly turned on him with the bitterness of a disappointed lover.  Perry’s back in the pack if not out altogether.

The Florida GOP straw poll results are in and it is pretty hard to fathom:

   Herman Cain: 37.11%

   Rick Perry: 15.43%

   Mitt Romney: 14%

   Rick Santorum: 10.88%

   Ron Paul: 10.39%

   Newt Gingrich: 8.43%

   Jon Huntsman: 2.26%

   Michele Bachmann: 1.51%

That’s a nasty spanking for Perry, who invested heavily in this poll, in a must-win state for him.  And while Romney has retained fund-raising momentum and blunted Perry’s brief rise in the give-and-take of recent weeks it is also clear that his “front-runner” status is limited by a fairly low ceiling of support among evangelicals and Tea Partiers.  Michele Bachmann’s star has fallen to new lows since her “fifteen-minutes” following her Ames straw poll win.

So, Bachmann clobbers Pawlenty, Perry clobbers Bachmann, Romney smothers Perry and the remaining cast of characters just can’t break through.  This recent upset by Cain seems more of a vote of no confidence in Perry than a sign of real resurgence for the pizza mogul, whose lack of foreign policy nous and odd tax reform proposals tend to disqualify him as a serious national candidate.

Labor Day well gone and the GOP is still looking for an electoral saviour?  It’s getting late folks.  Republicans are in serious trouble and they know it.  Pass the popcorn.

By this time in 2007 Hillary and Obama were debating nuanced details of health care reform and national security.  Thanks to the toxic atmosphere of the political dialogue they created after Obama’s inauguration the policy proposals articulated by Republican candidates are radical, vague and unrealistic.  While the American electorate remains unengaged for now a brief glance at the current state of the Republican nomination process should raise doubts in the minds of any reasonable citizen; it certainly has among the Republican establishment themselves.

As for Sarah Palin, watching the reaction to Perry’s humiliation at the recent debate should give her a pretty good indication of what would be in store for her if she took the plunge.  Chris Christie, the latest, and probably last, saviour-in-waiting, would have equally difficult hurdles translating East Coast attitudes into a winning platform for an increasingly insular, angry, frustrated and misanthropic party constituency.

The Republican nomination for the presidency has expended considerable resources and energy to arrive at a point where little, it seems, can be salvaged.


  1. They are usually played by dedicated partisans. That’s how a Cain or Paul or, for that matter, Bachmann manages to win these things.

    However, in this case, there are some interesting results. Here’s my take on it.

    Bachmann is done. She’s had her 15 minutes. She can no longer be considered a viable candidate, if she ever was.

    Perry is dropping fast. He needed to win this poll. Now, the only thing he’s got going for him is that he is the anti-Romney.

    Romney is still a solid candidate.

    Bachmann and Perry’s fall from grace opens the door for a Palin entry into the race. I can hardly wait to see that.

  2. and he will fail to excite the Tea Party base. A fractious Right will run a Tea Party candidate of their own, and/or do more to tear apart Romney than the Democrats could hope to.

    There will be much Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth among the entire chorus of GOP voices – given that the only GOP voices now are extremist – and all the joy will go out of the room./

    Maybe by 2016 they will be sane enough to run Huntsman.

  3. HappyinVT

    Home Room.  OMG!  I watched the ending twice.

    One of the reasons I love Netflix is that it recommends movies I’ve never heard of; this is one of those and, man, am I glad I saw it.  

  4. spacemanspiff

    That’s a nasty spanking for Perry, who invested heavily in this poll, in a must-win state for him.

    can I haz sum?

  5. Shaun Appleby

    If corporations can dump money into political campaigns whenever they see a market advantage why can’t I know where my dollars are going whenever I buy a bag of chips or take-away pizza?  Seem to me a little consumer activism is called for here.  Shop smart, don’t shop S-Mart.

    I really would drive an extra mile to buy something that wasn’t financing my political enemies.

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