I asked, given Herman Cain’s travails, if his effort to turn a quirky presidential campaign into a serious one had failed. Is he done for as a real contender for the nomination?

I expected opinion to be far more evenly divided. But Cain defenders like stevendufresne were in the minority. He wrote in part: “I think what you are seeing with Cain is a candidate thrust to the front of the pack getting his sea legs under him. I don’t think at this stage with the field set that you can write off Cain due to his misstatements.”

However, most readers thought any chance for him to contend seriously for the nomination disappeared in the blizzard of gaffes. Tkoho writes: “Cain is done. He never really prepared for a serious run at the nomination. Reports show that he lacks local campaign teams in any of the major primary states, hasn’t done very much in the way fundraising and has done even less in the way of rectifying those two tactical blunders.” Cambridgemom offered this: “ Herman Cain won’t be able to regain his footing. He has never run a successful campaign for elective office before, his (mis)statements over the past week reflect this fact, and Republican primary voters should realize that he really lacks the relevant experience in politics to run the country.” Sold2u sums up where the race is: “Cain is another flash in the pan. Romney will get the nomination and the full support of Wall Street/Corporate /Northeast money. That money hoped Christie would run, and is taking a look at all of the other candidates, but at the end of the day will go with Romney. At the end of the day, the Right despises Obama more than they love Romney. But they will be fired up just the same.”

I tend to agree with those who figure Cain doesn’t have what it takes to remain in contention. To some degree I share DonaldELJohnson’s observation that “Cain is running a book tour, not a presidential campaign.” More precisely, what started as a book tour turned briefly into a serious presidential run until voters began to figure out Cain didn’t know much about what it takes to run the country. Comebacks are always possible, but a Cain nomination is, once again, a long shot.