September 25, 2011. Orlando. The Republican Party of Florida held its straw poll yesterday and the final result was a bit of a surprise. Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida event with 37 percent of the vote, more than the second and third place finishers combined. It was exactly one week ago that fellow GOP Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) accomplished the same feet in the state of California. Read the Sept. 18 issue of the column, ‘Ron Paul Wins CA Straw Poll’ for details.
From the extreme south to the extreme north and the state of Michigan, the 29th bienniel Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference held its own straw poll. In the Michigan GOP straw poll, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won handily, finishing ahead of Texas Governor Rick Perry with three times the number of votes. Unlike Florida where Cain’s large victory was a bit of a surprise, Romney’s win in Michigan was expected. Mitt Romney grew up living in Michigan and his father was a popular Governor there.
With seven major Republican straw polls now complete, the GOP has seen 5 different winners. Romney needed a victory, his first thus far, to legitimize the national mainstream media’s constant insistence that he’s the frontrunner. So far among all 7 Republican straw polls held thus far, Texas Congressman Ron Paul has won two (California and New Hampshire) and Herman Cain has also won two (Georgia and Florida). The following candidates have each won a single straw poll: Mitt Romney (Michigan), Michele Bachmann (Iowa) and Rick Perry (Wisconsin). View the results of all 7 GOP Straw Polls thus far at Whiteout Press.
In Florida, Herman Cain told the media after the results were made public, “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.”
Florida GOP Straw Poll Results
Herman Cain, 37.1%
Rick Perry, 15.4%
Mitt Romney, 14%
Rick Santorum, 10.9%
Ron Paul, 10.4%
Newt Gingrich, 8.4%
Jon Huntsman, 2.3%
Michele Bachmann, 1.5%
In Michigan, there were a handful of surprises. First, Presidential candidate and hometown Congressman Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), dropped out of the Presidential race just days before the straw poll in his home state. Second, the Michigan straw poll only saw one-third of those registered to vote, actually come out and cast a ballot. With two-thirds of the caucus voters absent, Romney easily won capitalizing on his family’s historic roots to the state.
Michigan GOP Straw Poll Results
Mitt Romney, 51%
Rick Perry, 17%
Herman Cain, 9%
Ron Paul, 8%
Michele Bachmann, 4%
Newt Gingrich, 4%
Rick Santorum, 3%
Jon Huntsman, 2%
After these two straw polls this weekend, there are a couple winners and losers. First and foremost, Mitt Romney finally won a straw poll. It was his boyhood home, making it a must-win state for him. Texas Governor Rick Perry finished second in both polls, showing he still has widespread support in the Party. Herman Cain brought home his second victory and a respectable third place finish in Michigan.
Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter was the biggest loser after this weekend. He officially joined the list of GOP hopefuls that were forced to end their campaign. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is another big loser. After watching her poll numbers drop dramatically over the past two weeks, Bachmann finished a disappointing last in the all-important state of Florida, and only managed a 4 percent finish in Michigan.
Jon Huntsman is another disappointed candidate. After two successful debates that resulted in the national media crowning him the third of three frontrunners along with Romney and Perry, the former Utah Governor couldn’t translate the momentum into a strong finish in either state. Huntsman finished with a dismal 2 percent in both straw polls this weekend.
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