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Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll

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Former Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain has won the Presidency 5 Straw Poll, scoring a runaway victory in the Florida survey of GOP activists.

Cain took more than 37 percent of the vote in the eight-candidate field, finishing far ahead of second-place Rick Perry (15 percent) and third-place Mitt Romney (14 percent).

Former senator Rick Santorum finished fourth at 11 percent and was followed by Rep. Ron Paul at 10 percent, former House speaker Newt Gingrich at 8 percent, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman at 2 percent and Rep. Michele Bachmann at less than 2 percent.

Supporters of the straw poll note that, since 1979, every GOP nominee has won the straw poll. As of now, though, Cain is a second-tier candidate at best and has struggled to rise beyond an early surge in the race. Most national polls show him around 5 percent of the vote.

Florida could be a particularly pivotal state in the presidential nominating contest, especially if it is held before Super Tuesday in early March, as it appears, and also because the early states could very well be evenly split between Perry and Romney. Polling in the Sunshine State shows Perry and Romney leading the way currently.

Bachmann’s last-place showing is particularly interesting, given that she won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa just last month.

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