Before you read anything, click this link to see how the audience responded to Cain in the last debate. Frank Luntz’s focus group went NUTS over Cain’s answers.
A new Zogby poll puts Herman Cain at the top of the Republican field, as the top choice of 28% of poll respondents. (IBOPE Zogby International says the polling sample consists of “all likely voters and of likely Republican primary voters.”)
Rounding out the top three are Rick Perry at 18%, and Mitt Romney at 17%. Fourth place goes to Ron Paul at 11%. Paul’s the most solid performer in Zogby’s polling history for the 2012 GOP race – his 11% might as well be chiseled in stone.
Interestingly, this poll was conducted after the Orlando GOP debate, but before Cain won the Florida straw poll. It’s a huge surge for Cain, who was polling at 12% just two weeks previously, and was floating at a campaign low of 8% two weeks before that. Aside from that bitter 8% number, Cain has generally done quite well in the Zogby poll, usually good enough for second or third place.
On the other hand, Rick Perry’s numbers in the Zogby poll have cratered, falling 19% in just two weeks. His debut last month was also his high-water mark thus far, when Zogby had him at 41%.
Michelle Bachmann has also been slipping steadily, chugging in at 4%. That puts her just below Jon Huntsman, which is the same way she finished the Florida straw poll. Bachmann was actually the leading candidate in Zogby’s polling from June 21 through July 25… then she plunged to 9% in the next poll and continued sliding down from there.
Romney’s been holding fairly steady in the Zogby poll. He bounces a few points up and down, but seems to hover in the 15-17% range.
Zogby’s also got President Obama’s approval rating at 42%, with 57% disapproval. That’s actually a bit better than his September 5 low of 39-61. His poor approval numbers seem to hold fairly steady, while his disapproval bounces around.
Zogby is considered one of the least reliable polls, but even with plus or minus 8%, it’s still quite amazing. I am totally OK with a Cain as the nominee. I would love to see the businessman defeat Obama in head-to-head debates. Obama is a nobody, who has never done a damned thing in his whole life except repeat what his professors told him to repeat. Obama had a rich grandmother and went to expensive private schools. Cain started from nothing and he accomplished everything on his own steam. He’s a self-made man – everything he has he got on his merits.
Quick biography of Herman Cain:
Cain earned a degree in mathematics from Morehouse College in 1967 and later earned a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University, while working as a mathematician for the Department of the Navy. He then worked as a business analyst for The Coca-Cola Company. In 1968, he married his wife, Gloria and they have two grown children.
In 1977, Herman Cain joined The Pillsbury Company and within three years, at the age of 34, rose to the position of Vice President of Corporate Systems and Services. Cain, reflecting his father’s drive to seek greater challenges, then set his sights on a corporate presidency.
With this goal ahead of him, Cain resigned his senior position and started on another career path – the restaurant industry. He started from the ground up by making hamburgers at Pillsbury’s Burger King Division. Nine months later, he was managing 400 Burger King units in the Philadelphia region. In 1986, Pillsbury appointed Cain to the presidency of the then financially-troubled Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. In 14 short months, the chain regained profitability. In 1988, he led a buyout of the company from Pillsbury.
Cain was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association in 1998. In 1994/1995, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. While leading this association, he developed the organization into a pro-business voice via national debates and speeches concerning health care reform, employment policies, and taxation. Following this experience, he was appointed to serve on the Economic Growth and Tax Reform Commission. He then became a senior advisor to the 1996 Dole/Kemp campaign for the Presidency.
Herman Cain continued the responsibilities of President and Chairman of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., while beginning a second career delivering national keynote speeches. Using his messages as the foundation, he created his own leadership consulting company, T.H.E. Inc. (The Hermanator Experience). T.H.E. packages his speaking and develops his products, including books, videotapes and audio tapes, CDs of gospel music, and promotes his keynote speeches. He has authored three books to date on topics ranging from leadership to self-empowerment. In 2002, he became an Executive Lecturer for the Gallup Organization.
In 1996, Cain became CEO and President of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Cain became the only volunteer chairman to become the full-time CEO and President of the Association while still a member of the Board. Cain headed the NRA in this position for two and a half years. In 1999, Cain sought to leverage his restaurant experience with the technology market and he became CEO and President of RetailDNA. Its mission is to provide innovative marketing solutions to the retail sector.
Cain remains President and CEO of T.H.E., Inc. and serves on the Boards of Directors for Aquila, Inc., Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., and Hallmark Cards Incorporated.
Here’s a bit more about Cain’s quantitative background, which I think is much harder to succeed at than anything in the liberal arts (except for analytical philosophy).
Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on December 13, 1945, the son of Lenora (née Davis) and Luther Cain, Jr.His mother was a cleaner and his father was a chauffeur.He was raised in Georgia. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and received a Master of Science degree in computer science from Purdue University in 1971,while he was also working full-time in ballistics for the U.S. Department of the Navy. Cain has authored four books: Leadership is Common Sense (1997), Speak as a Leader (1999), CEO of SELF (October 2001), and They Think You’re Stupid (May 2005). He also authored an article titled “The Intangibles of Implementation” in the technical journal Interfaces (Vol. 9, No. 5, 1979, pp. 144-147), published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).
Like Michele, he has excellent academic qualifications, and a better business background than Michele to boot.
The Lonely Conservative also backs Cain, and he writes:
The only reason Cain wasn’t higher in the polls before is that the media didn’t give him the time of day. Now that people are getting to know him, they’re starting to like him. What’s not to like? He’s a successful man who clearly loves life, has good ideas and shares the values most of us hold dear. Oh, and did I mention that he’s not a professional politician?
McCain notes that conservative Dennis Miller has now endorsed Cain for President.
UPDATE: Robb sent me this Yahoo News article about Cain.
Even though he’s known as the “pizza” candidate for his years as head of Godfather’s Pizza, his background is much broader than that. After he graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in mathematics and a minor in chemistry in 1968, Cain landed a job as a ballistics analyst for the Department of the Navy, where he was responsible for the calculations that ensured battleship rockets hit their targets.
“It’s not an easy thing to do,” he said.
Cain later completed a master’s degree in computer science and entered the business world where he led several companies–most recently Godfather’s–and chaired the National Restaurant Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. His résumé–from mathematician and rocket scientist to restaurateur and now politician–isn’t exactly a typical one for a presidential candidate.
[…]After a few caffeine-heavy refills at our corner table, I asked him about President Obama’s new effort to raise taxes on the wealthy, and Cain just about blew a blood vessel–especially when I mentioned the part where Obama says it’s about “math” not “class warfare.”
“Can I be blunt? That’s a lie,” Cain said, before the sound of his voice began to rise noticeably higher. “You’re not supposed to call the president a liar. Well if you’re not supposed to call the president a liar, he shouldn’t tell a lie. If it’s not class warfare, it’s highway robbery. He wants us to believe it’s not class warfare, oh okay, it’s not class warfare. Pick my pockets, because that’s what he’s doing!”
Cain paused, took a breath and looked at me.
“I’m not mad at you, I just get passionate about this stuff,” he said. “I have to tell people because I get so worked up . . . . I’m listening to all this bullsh*t that he’s talking about, ‘fairness’ and ‘balanced approach’ to get this economy going.”
[…]As the straw poll and his recent fundraising numbers suggest, Cain’s message is resonating with the conservative movement’s influential base of tea-party activists; for these supporters his status as a non-career politician with an extensive background in the private sector is nearly as strong a draw as his ideas and policy proposals.
Read the whole thing, this might be our guy in 2012.