Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll, beats Perry by more than 20 points

Chris Moody

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain won the "Presidency 5" straw poll Saturday, fetching 37 percent of the vote and upsetting Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who trailed Cain by more than 20 points.

"Folks, this is what you call momentum," Cain said in a video taken while he rode back to Atlanta on his campaign bus. "The Herman Cain train is picking up steam."

The delegates, made up of Republican voters from every county in Florida, cast 2,657 ballots for the straw poll that was sponsored by the state Republican Party.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney placed third with 14 percent and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann came in last with just 1.5 percent. Neither campaign officially participated in the straw poll.

"You'd think Mitt Romney would've done better today after being in the race for five and a half years," said Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner. "It's a devastating loss for him today."

The straw poll concluded three days of campaigning in Orlando that began Thursday with a presidential debate and included a conference for activists sponsored by the American Conservative Union.

Several delegates participating in the straw poll said that Perry's weak performance at the debate led them to consider Cain instead.

Full results:

  1. Herman Cain, 37.1%
  2. Rick Perry, 15.4%
  3. Mitt Romney, 14.0%
  4. Rick Santorum, 10.9%
  5. Ron Paul, 10.4%
  6. Newt Gingrich, 8.4%
  7. Jon Huntsman, 2.3%
  8. Michele Bachmann, 1.5%