In an unexpected turn of events for pundits and political watchers, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain swept the results of the Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida Saturday, even as he thought of "pulling the plug" on his political aspirations.
While straw polls are not an overall determinant of who will prevail as a party's nominee, they can help spark enthusiasm and momentum, especially for lower-tier candidates.
"The thing that I've learned about myself in this campaign-because I've never had this happen to me before on a single challenge-is that I've gone to the brink, ready to pull the plug, but came back, twice," Cain told Chris Moody of The Ticket.
The Atlanta resident added, "I've only had two days where I personally felt, should I pull the plug? For different reasons. That's how frustrating a campaign can be."
Now, rather than quitting, Cain appears to have caught on with voters. Perhaps during the last debate, in Florida, when he claimed that he would be dead under "ObamaCare" and declared, to rousing applause: "We need to get bureaucrats out of the business of trying to micromanage health care in this nation."
It might have also been his full-throated recommendation of his "999" tax plan, which Cain said would get rid of the current tax code and replace it with a 9 percent corporate tax, 9 percent income tax, and 9 percent national sales tax.
The Georgia businessman received a measure of support from conservative bloggers like the influential Erick Erickson at Red State, who declared Perry a "train wreck" in Thursday's debate and dubbed Cain the winner.
Cain's performance earned him more than just kind words from pundits and debate watchers. His spokeswoman, Ellen Carmichael, told Talking Points Memo (TPM) on Saturday that they had raised more money in the last 48 hours than at any point during the campaign.
In a palpable display of gratitude, Cain issued the following statement to Florida voters:
"Thank you to the Republican voters for this incredible honor of being named the winner of the Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida today."
He continued: "This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored. I will continue to share my message of 'common sense solutions' across this country and look forward to spending more time in Florida, a critical state for both the nomination and the general election."