Meet the new Republican front-runner: Newtman Caingrich

Chris Moody

He doesn't exist, but if he did, Newtman Caingrich would be the new front-runner to become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

Mr. Caingrich is a mythical cross between the Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, a creature birthed from the mind of Rick Perry at last week's presidential debate.

"I don't know how you would do this, but if you could take Herman Cain and mate him up with Newt Gingrich, I think you would have a couple of really interesting guys to work with," Perry said, responding to a question about who he would pick for a running mate, were he forced to choose from the candidates on stage.

Perry was on to something. According to a composite of three national polls conducted after the debate compiled by the New York Times analyst Nate Silver, Herman Cain has surged to third place in the field, with the support of 13 percent of Republican voters, while Newt Gingrich is in fourth place with 10 percent.

As a single creature, Newtman Caingrich would be a formidable candidate. Caingrich's 23.6 percent share puts him in first place, ahead of the putative front-runners Mitt Romney (22 percent) and Perry (21.7 percent).

Like a liger, Caingrich is bred for skills and magic, but in his case, the kind that win national elections.

Since the debate, Caingrich has inspired illustrations and has even been captured in a rare photograph. Mortals have made desperate attempts to define his mystery. Julie Weiner at Vanity Fair described Caingrich as a "chimera, as in the ancient Greek tradition, consisting of one part Newt Gingrich, one part Herman Cain, and one part Rick Perry's dreams."

Mr. Caingrich did not immediately respond to a request from The Ticket for comment because he's not real.