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GOP still seeking 2012 candidate

October 6th, 2011

From the whirlwind of the last four weeks, Americans have seen the lead for the Republican candidacy see-saw back and forth.

Everyone saw the obvious, such as the back and forth of perhaps the two most vivid candidates in the past month, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

What no one was expecting was the stunning victory of Georgia’s Herman Cain over Perry in the Florida Straw Poll in September.

This threw the race into another spin.

For Herman Cain, 65, the news continues to be surprisingly good. Not long after his Florida victory, he took another surprising lead in the Midwest Straw Poll.

The reasons for this possible success may have to do with the fact that he has gained so much approval from the tea party movement.

As the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Cain’s business background has left many optimistic that he would understand the fiscal concerns of the U.S.

His unwavering conservative views,  as opposed to the questionable beliefs of Perry, have also granted him trust among conservative Republicans.

Yet, Larry Schwab, of John Carroll’s political science department, believes his candidacy remains a long shot.

“Herman Cain has run an excellent campaign and is the biggest surprise among the Republic candidates,” Schwab told The Carroll News.  “However, I doubt that he will be successful in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. Rarely do candidates with little experience and little name recognition win in the primaries and caucuses.”

Gov. Perry also had a lot to handle in September.

Aside from what was viewed to be rocky performances in the debates with the other candidates, Perry also had to face his past record.  He alienated many social conservatives with his support for state mandated STD vaccinations.

Then there were the charges by Romney hinting that Perry was a do-little governor in a state where the government is very hands off.

The governor managed to dance around these issues for the most part and maintained his lead in the polls.

Then another issue came about that was difficult to escape.

According to The New York Times, the Perry family owned land designed for hunting in west Texas, which was supposedly nick-named “Niggerhead.”

Questions arose as to whether Perry’s father and the governor himself changed the name of the land upon purchase in the early 1980s.

With the answer unclear on Perry’s ethics have been brought into question by some.

Just as it seemed that no one else could declare their candidacy, increased speculation developed regarding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The 49-year-old governor, who has held office since 2010, has received much attention do to his unwavering fiscal stance.

A Wall Street Journal article released Monday said, “The governor spent much of the week deliberating the logistics of a late bid.”

Inevitably, however, Christie announced the next day his decision to stay out of the race.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in announcing his decision, the governor said, “The deciding factor was that it did not feel right to me, in my gut, to leave now, when the job isn’t finished.”

Presently, the race in the GOP camp is centered around Perry, Romney, and more recently, Cain.

Indeed, the possibility of other late entries is unlikely at this point, due to the heavy spending already by the Perry and Romney camps.

As for Cain, further success seems unlikely, but history has shown that candidacies such as his own may gain surprising momentum – one example being Eugene McCarthy in 1968.

McCarthy’s grassroots’ support enabled him to bid a convincing argument against the Johnson administration’s policies and carried him to the convention, albeit unsuccessful.

Cain may be able to build this momentum among the tea party members, if he wishes to make his bid a reality.

As for the general election, things may be looking up for the Republican aisle.

According to a joint ABC News-Washington Post non-partisan opinion poll, the numbers are 37 percent for Obama.

Of those who were polled, 55 percent voted for the Republican candidate.