(Hey- quit groaning. At least it wasn’t Cain & Able.)
One more indication that presidential hopeful Rick Perry (R-Am I Still the Frontrunner?) is in freefall after his bumbling debate performance on Thursday: His humbling on Saturday in the Florida straw poll, a micro event that’s produced macro effects.
Former pizza executive Herman Cain surprised rival Rick Perry with an upset victory on Saturday in a Republican presidential straw poll in Florida, dealing a disappointing loss to the Texas governor two days after a shaky debate performance.
Perry, leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, had needed a victory in what was an early test of strength to salve the wounds left over from a debate with his rivals on Thursday in which he struggled.
Instead, former Godfather’s Pizza executive Cain, who is far behind the two top-tier candidates Perry and Mitt Romney, won with 37 percent of 2,657 votes cast.
Perry garnered 15%, and promptly fired up the spinitron:
The Perry camp shrugged off the results.
“Cain won, we still have work to do,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “It’s his day. The conservative message won today. We’ve been in this race for five weeks. We’re going to continue campaigning hard.”
Miner put the focus on Romney’s third-place finish, saying Perry’s chief rival has been running for president for years and is still not breaking through.
“It’s more of what happened to Mitt Romney. He’s not going to be crowned president of the United States. He’s going to have to work for it. And after five and a half years he once again got rejected in a key state in the Republican primary process,” Miner said.
Then again, there’s plenty of rejection to go around.