(Photo: REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst)
Herman Cain can now be seen as a front-runner in the Republican presidential nomination according to the latest opinion poll, but he is counting more on God, whom he says will eventually decide whether America needs his leadership or not.
A day before leaving for Tennessee for a two-day barnstorming Friday, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO expressed his faith in God’s sovereignty at the Faith and Freedom Coalition rally organized by Ralph Reed, a Republican strategist and former head of the Georgia Republican party.
“I don’t know if I’m the leader that this nation needs at this particular point in our history but I believe God almighty knows,” Cain told a crowd of 1,500 people gathered to hear him at Ohio Christian University campus.
“And if I am, it is in the hands of God almighty. Not a party. Not the media,” he was quoted as saying by CBS News.
Cain, who finished first in the recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, surprised many by choosing Tennessee – where the primary is not expected until March – and not the crucial early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where primaries could be held as early as December.
“We believe states like Tennessee, that traditionally would not have had as big a role, are going to be more important,” Cain was quoted as saying. “You can’t win Florida and wave the victory flag. You have got to look at some of those other states that are coming after Florida – and Tennessee happens to be one.”
As of now, “Cain is the leader,” Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart said, in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Considering Cain finished fifth in the Ames Straw Poll in August, the latest opinion survey shows a dramatic shift. While 23 percent of GOP primary voters chose former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney as their preferred candidate, 27 percent picked Cain. Texas Gov. Rick Perry received just 16 percent of the votes.
Cain indicated he was prepared for both victory and defeat in his run for president. He said at the Christian university that he was still open to becoming a Fox News host if he didn’t make it to the White House.