These posts don’t seem to get a lot of hits, but what can I say, I like trying to predict the Republican primary outcome, bad at it as I am.
Now I’ve been guilty of ignoring Herman Cain, largely because I never imagined that a black candidate could gain majority support in the Republican primary. Of course, it increasingly looks like I was wrong – not about failing to gain majority support, but about whether majority support is necessary.
According to RealClearPolitics, Cain is leading the popular polls with a whopping 25% of the Republican vote, with Romney a very close second with 24.3%. The rest is split between among various rabble that may or may not be contenders in the future. The RCP average also has Cain leading Iowa by a substantial (5.5%) margin, but the data is all over the place. Finally, Cain has some very major Koch brothers connections, which means he has major sway among the “other electorate” that consists of big business with money to spend.
In summary, I think its fair to say that Cain might be leading the field at this stage. But is he going to stay there? Here’s why I think not (other than racism):
1. He’s a mega-flip-flopper: Cain has clearly flip-flopped on Muslims (originally saying he wouldn’t appoint any, and later apologizing and saying he meant terrorists), and probably abortion and an electrified border fence. Michelle Bachmann also claims Cain flip flopped on gay marriage and Guantanamo Bay detainees. That’s a lot that his opponents have to work with, and they have yet to really attack him hard on it.
2. He has offended conservative political correctness: Let’s see here, he did a song parodying the far-left utopian song “Imagine”, he’s an associate minister at a liberal church in Atlanta, he was on the board of a federal reserve bank, and he favors raising (sales) taxes. Wait unit the “Who is the real Herman Cain?” ads start showing up.
3. He has already made a lot of enemies: Cain has said things that are likely to upset Muslims, Ron Paul sympathizers, Mexicans, and black women, among others.
Of course, if there’s anything to be learned from the last few months, it’s that the Republican Primary is completely unpredictable. Nevertheless, I think Cain will lose his lead long before November is over. Who will take his place? I still say nobody, in keeping with my theory that no one will win the Republican Primary. Admittedly that’s impossible (sort of). There’s also the possibility of a Perry comeback, but you also might want to watch out for a comeback of the Marshmallow Man himself, Newt Gingrich. His major personal and political faults have made many count him out, but compared to the faults of his opponents, he just doesn’t look that bad anymore.