Cain wins big in South Carolina tea party straw poll
October 15th, 2011
09:22 PM ET
10 years ago

Cain wins big in South Carolina tea party straw poll

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - Surging Republican presidential contender Herman Cain has picked up another morale booster in the race for the GOP nomination.

The conservative businessman decisively won a tea party straw poll held in Columbia, South Carolina, Saturday afternoon.

Cain captured an eye-popping 55% of the vote. His closest challenger, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, picked up 14.5%. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann garnered 8% to come in third.

The two candidates with the most money in their campaign bank accounts, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, nearly finished at the back of the pack with 3% and 2% respectively. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was last with 1%.

“Very interesting results. Cain is on fire here in S.C. I know it's just a snapshot. But I find these numbers interesting among our crowd,” FreedomWorks organizer Brendan Steinhauser told CNN.

Two hundred conservative activists in 25 separate tea party groups participated in the non-binding voting contest.


Filed under: Herman Cain • South Carolina
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Wow! And I'm sure that the fact that his campaign manager worked for the Koch brothers has NOTHING to do with his rise in the Tea Party, right?

    October 16, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Cain will not get the GOP nomination. Romney is the one they'll pick, and then have Cain go around campaigning for Romney, trying to split the black vote.

    It's all part of a very cynical strategy on the part of Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and their corporate sponsors like the Koch-roach brothers to regain the White House and Congress so they can finish destroying the Middle Class.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool being used once again by the rich to vote against their own self-interest.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 16, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Matt

    Herman Cain is funded and advised by the Koch Brothers and Koch industries. The Tea Party once stood for the removal of special interest money in politics but it appears as if they've lost their backbone or have been taken over by corporate interests themselves. I wonder if any original Tea Party people have any feelings about this.

    October 16, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Joe

    Romney will obviously beat Cain on the ground game! Enthousiasm is not the same as organization and political infrastructure. I am surprised that he does not put his foot in his mouth yet!

    October 16, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Peikoviani

    I guess you are gifted with revolutionary insight, but when other people vote their minds they are out of them.

    October 16, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    999% Herman Cain will win nomination

    October 16, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Give credit where credit is due

    This man can break into a musical note in octave #1. He'll never get my vote. It's just a poll it's not a primary. His upside down plan is obvious and americans will not, I'll repeat will not even consider him a thought on the voting ballot.
    Obama2012

    October 16, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Coloradan

    I don't know why Tea Partier's don't get on the Romney bandwagon. It seems like even though he doesn't hold to some of their core principles he may give them the best chance to win. Even though Romney care was a model for Obama care that is just one issue of many, they shouldn't get too hung up on that.

    October 16, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    although I don't think it's going to happen, but I really do hope that the GOP does nominate Cain to run against Obama in 2012. If anything I would love to see where all the "white guilt of 2008" and the "blacks only vote for blacks due to race" will try to say about the election. Rush Limbaugh has been saying the latter for 3 years...when the black vote sticks with Obama mainly because he is a Democrat, I wonder what attack they will use then.

    October 16, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. steve d

    If Cain is aligned with the Tea Party, he just lost my vote. All the representatives aligned with the Tea Party should be voted out, their leaders are radical idiots and their representatives are mindless sheep that would join any movement that garners a vote.

    October 16, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Mike Buck

    The legacy of South Carolina; Joe Wilson of "You Lie" fame, slavery, tobacco plantations, Strom Thurmond, and starting the Civil War...that is quite a record. Is the "straw poll" the way they officially vote in South Carolina?

    October 16, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Terry

    When the winner picks Cain for the VP Spot, be smart enough to pay for a legitimate vetting. Keep in mind that McCain's Campaign Team did not see any reason for Sarah Palin to be vetted, and they tried to convince the press and the American People that the FBI vetted Palin, which we found out was not true, just three days later. Cain will not stand-up to proper vetting, but that is my opinion. The VP Candidate can make or break the presidential nominee, and Cain will not bring the Black and Hispanic Vote, as many think he will.

    October 16, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Joe from Georgia

    Just because Cain is getting meaningless straw poll victories does not mean this will translate to primary wins where this actually means something. Republicans voting for him is their new version of saying, 'hey, one of my good friends is black'. Lets not absolve the tea party and all their ignorant antics just because they are voting for a black man in irrelevant contests. I think most of us logical thinkers know that he does not have a realistic shot at being the nominee for the party. His brown skin will just get darker and darker with each successive win, and then the good ole truth will come to fruition as he gets utterly dismantled by Romney, Perry or some other candidate not black.

    October 16, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. MorePalin

    Any tax plan that isn't progressive caters to the wealthy and will hasten the demise of the middle class.

    October 16, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. What!?!

    Herman Cain: "I don't believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way"

    Tea Party: See. We're not racists. We support a black man who says that poor black people choose to be poor. Now, if only we could get a white guy to say that.

    October 16, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. DrQuack

    Hey Ron Paul supporters...........give up. Unless you own a well stocked bunker, he's not the one.

    October 16, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Pa mom

    The ignorance of the Obama policy supporters here is what scares me the most about this country. Disparaging comments are made about the repubs from racisim to affiliation with the wealth. These people have no clue about economics, have elected a community organizer who had no experience to lead a nation nor the expertise to govern on world issues and economics and has divided this country in efforts to conquer. I don't espect the ignorant to understand but at least open your mind and get educated. I am white, have lost a job, found a job and would vote for Cain.My parents raised me to be self reliant and be a survivor; not a victim. We need a president with real world experience. By the way, your president is taking money from the wealthy, is financially supported by the unions thru deals with our tax dollars and his wife's financial history makes her one of your enemy. Get real folks! We need business men to lead us out of this economic mess whether white or black.

    October 16, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. RON PAUL 2012!!!

    Since when does the Tea Party support a US Federal Reserve stooge?

    October 16, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. yupyup123

    Ron Paul wins 80+% of these straw polls and they "don't matter". Cain wins two and he's surging?

    October 16, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Sonnybro

    Wow its like winning the school promp.

    October 16, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Joe America

    Mr. Cain resonates with Americans because of his life story, his character, and his ideas. It's the liberal left in America who are the true racists, unable to accept a minority who doesn't fit their profile.

    October 16, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. portland tony

    Congratulations Mr. Cain. You have garnered roughly 105 votes out of 200 cast at a "tea party" invitation only (credentials please) straw vote in the State of South Carolina. That tells me nothing about your election chances. I'll tell you that 55% sure looks better in the news article than 105 votes. STRAW VOTES MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    October 16, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Joe

    Romney with the political infrastructures and Wall street in his pocket, and Cain with main street backing him will bring in the votes. With a ticket like this, the DEM can start playing golf as they do not stand a chance.

    October 16, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. justin

    usher in the apocolypse by voting for any of the GOP canidates or prove the Mayans wrong & vote Obama Biden. Oh & by the way the GOP tried to pull a simular stunt by selecting Palin the polar opposite of Clinton & now Cain the polar opposite of Obama. Wake up people.

    October 16, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Oldie in TampaBay

    OPEN YOUR EYES, AMERICA! This guy is NOT what he seems! Fortunately .. the popularity won't last.

    October 16, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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