Cain upsets Perry as winner of Florida straw poll
September 24th, 2011
06:02 PM ET
3 years ago

Cain upsets Perry as winner of Florida straw poll

Orlando, Florida (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign was dealt a worrying blow Saturday when he finished in a distant second place to businessman Herman Cain in a closely watched straw poll in Florida.

Cain won 37% of the 2,657 votes cast in the straw poll conducted at Presidency 5, a three-day convention sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida that brought thousands of party activists to Orlando.

Perry's campaign had courted Presidency 5 delegates for weeks and printed up glossy fliers that were distributed throughout the convention hall in Orlando, but the Texas governor captured just 410 votes, or 15.4% of the vote.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished third with 14%.

He was followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (10.9%), Texas Rep. Ron Paul (10.4%), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (8.4%), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (2.26%) and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (1.5%).

Perry was expected to win the straw poll as the weekend began, but his underwhelming performance at a GOP debate on Thursday night raised questions about his readiness for prime time.

GOP activists at Presidency 5 also repeatedly expressed concern with Perry's forceful support for a Texas bill that grants in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants.

In the debate, Perry said opponents of the bill don't "have a heart," a comment that rankled conservatives here.

Cain, who charmed activists with a series of red meat speeches and a smooth debate performance, was mentioned frequently as a second choice among activists who came to Orlando ready to support Perry before changing their minds.

The Perry campaign cast their disappointing finish as a resounding victory over Romney, Perry's top rival for the GOP nomination.

"It's a devastating loss for Mitt Romney, who has been campaigning for president for the last five and a half years," said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. "We have only been in this race for five and a half weeks. Mitt Romney still cannot resonate with conservative voters, especially in Florida."

Miner admitted that "we still have work to do and we are going to get better."


Filed under: Herman Cain • Rick Perry
soundoff (665 Responses)
  1. Miriam

    can Michelle Bachman quit now?

    September 24, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. chris

    another great example of liberal hypocrisy. brainwashed liberals making racial comments about herman cain.

    September 24, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. PHinMiami

    OMG, what a dilemma for the GOP. How to come to grips with their racist vitriolic hatred? They will self-destruct, . . . Oh, wait, they are already self-destructing.

    September 24, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. Luis

    Florida's GOP caucus best national election stratagy, black on black polictical violence. Perry to me is Bush on steriods,righter then right.

    September 24, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. PaulC

    Nothing Florida does surprises me.
    After 2000 and 2004 Florida should not be allowed to vote ever again. They voted for George W. twice and Rick Scott once.

    September 24, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  6. Barnacle Bill

    All them old coots in Florida reject Rick Perry's Ponzi offensive.

    September 24, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. AnyonebutDem

    Those damn Tea Party racists are at it again!

    September 24, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. connieb

    It was only a matter of time.

    September 24, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Yes, we Cain.

    Vote for Cain, a real black man.

    September 24, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Dominick Thomas

    You really think you or the Republican Party can be taken seriously by attributing some significance to a trumped up straw vote that votes for Cain as their nominee. Why not point out that the only thing the straw vote showed is the continuing detachment from reality, facts and truth of the Republican Party base.

    September 24, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  11. bannister

    Thank God, Perry is HORRIBLE – and I'm speaking as a conservative. He is a New World Order Neocon, not a true patriot at all.

    At this point, conservatives should support a Romney / Cain ticket. Romney is a solid, balanced candidate and Cain will hopefully bring some blacks over to the GOP. It's worth a shot.

    September 24, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. sara

    Dammmm, they didn't ask for his Birth Certificate. He's the "other" isn't he?

    September 24, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  13. George

    If the race comes down to Cain vs Obama, its going to get brutal. There will be a lot of m...f...ing going back and forth.

    September 24, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. agathokles

    When I saw the headline/leader of this article, I thought it was some kind of joke. Herman Cain???? The Republicans are certified lunatics.

    September 24, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  15. kacchy

    Bama must be having fun watching these nutjobs compete for GOP nomination.

    Romney – Car salesman (he is just not trustworthy) – He looks fake
    Perry – Cannot keep his mouth shut – No need to say Soc Sec is a sham – you just scared the whole state of Florida
    Ron Paul – Too academic...real world don't operate like academic theories
    Bachmann and Santorum – Who is nuttier of the two? No facts...just lies
    Cain – God father Pizza!!!!! What else is there to say?
    Gingrich – Womanizer
    Huntsman – Nobody

    Keep entertaining the US populace

    September 24, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  16. Jack in Florida

    OMG.......Florida Republicans are more screwed up than I ever thought they were. Good luck in 2012!!!

    September 24, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  17. Perry 2012

    Cain will never ever be a prisident. 100 percent guranteed. We always laugh when he speaks..never serious about him....Maybe he will get a comedian job in white house under perry's administration..I think Perry is the best to lead this miserable country to a new direction from 2012..

    September 24, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. Herbie Walker

    "A devastating loss for Mitt Romney?"

    Really? He did as well as P-Rick and he didn't even show up.

    This guy Perry is toast, Texas Toast!

    September 24, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  19. Phil Russ

    Cain is the only Republican candidate who can be guaranteed to win against Obama in a 1-on-1 campaign. Moreover, Cain is the candidate with the most common sense, the least political ties, the highest degree of trustworthiness, and (not altogether unimportant) the most keen sense of humor.

    September 24, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. philip inuhoff

    It is amazing how much coverage Cain's win is getting in the media vs. Ron Paul's win in California...amazing

    Why did none of the word clouds at the debate ever show FEDERAL RESERVE?
    Herman Cain was chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve.... amazing.

    September 24, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  21. Perry 2012

    Straw poll winners will remain straw poll winners..Not a President material..

    September 24, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  22. Meki60

    Cain is my man. He can defeat Obama. Wonderful.

    September 24, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  23. Joeseph J

    Hahahhahahaaaaa!! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAAA!! You know what... we don't want you back in Texas either!

    September 24, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  24. Dave R

    Just like a cheap firework. Shoots up a few feet. Fizzles out and drops to the ground still smoldering.

    September 24, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  25. Hilo, HI

    GOP activists at Presidency 5 also repeatedly expressed concern with Perry's forceful support for a Texas bill that grants in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants.
    In the debate, Perry said opponents of the bill don't "have a heart," a comment that rankled conservatives here.
    Perry, I do have a heart, a 'bleeding one' I am told -and I too am against carrying the burden of other nation's citizens here illegally. I am not voting Obama again this time. I am shopping for a candidate willing to enforce all our Nation's Laws, esp immigration. I thought being from a border state, that would be you. (Didn't you support AZ gov w/ this issue?) Well, is it? It seems not.
    "Have a heart" with YOUR OWN $$ if you feel that strongly about it.

    September 24, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
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