Perry, Romney, Cain & Everyone Else: A Republican Presidential Candidate Update

rick perry
Rick Perry
For weeks, both the media and the public have perceived Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as the front-runners in the Republican primary race.

It’s probably the hair.

Just kidding. In all seriousness, Governor Romney has enjoyed the support of more moderate Republicans, with his stances on Social Security, abortion, and corporate welfare. In contrast, Governor Perry has wooed the conservative base of the GOP on the exact same issues. Perry even famously referred to Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.

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While Representative Michele Bachmann started out strong, support for her candidacy has waned considerably. Representative Ron Paul continues to be a favorite among the Libertarian crowd, while John Huntsman gets the RINO Democrat vote. Then there’s Rick Santorum, who is a strong contender on paper, but might not be electable against Barack Obama, given the loss on his 2006 reelection bid for Senator in Pennsylvania, Newt Gingrich, who faces an uphill battle, and Gary Johnson (who?).

That leaves Godfather’s Pizza Tycoon Herman Cain. Last Thursday night, there was an official GOP debate, sponsored by Fox News and Google. Neither Romney nor Perry shined, but dark horse (no pun [nor racism!] intended) Herman Cain rocked the stage. Two days later, Cain won the Florida straw poll with 37 percent of the vote, compared to Perry’s 15 percent and Romney’s 14 percent.

Cain has now emerged as a fellow front-runner, with his innovative 9-9-9 tax plan and his strong conservative beliefs. In an era when Americans are sick of Washington politics-as-usual, his private industry background could work in his favor.

It’s still anyone’s game at this point, but right now it seems that Herman Cain is enjoying the spotlight.

 

Images via eschipul/Flickr

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