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News from the Votemaster

Cain First, Romney Real Winner in NV Straw Poll     Permalink

Former pizza CEO Herman Cain gave Mitt Romney a boost on his way to the Republican nomination yesterday. Cain won the semi-meaningless Nevada straw poll with 31% of the vote to Romney's 29%. But the important number was 4, as in the 4% Texas governor Rick Perry got. There is no way on God's green earth that the Republican leadership (think: Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Karl Rove) will allow Herman Cain to be the Republican nominee because President Obama would crush him in the general election. But by sucking up all the oxygen that Perry desperately needs, Cain helps eliminate the one serious threat to Romney. With most of the activists now lined up behind Cain (as they once were behind Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Chris Christie), Team Romney can just lie low in the weeds and wait for Cain to implode.

The Republicans' problem is that while a substantial fraction of the party activists dislike Romney because he is from the Northeast, made a lot of money on Wall St., and has changed his position on their core issues so many times, you can't beat someone with no one. Cain is simply the current placeholder for "None of the above." But the Republicans can't nominate "None of the the above." They need an actual candidate and in the current mix, the only credible alternative to Romney is Perry, who has demonstrated that he can raise huge amounts of money and win elections. Cain doesn't even have a serious campaign organization but he appears to be able to inflict serious damage to Perry, thus leaving Romney as the last man (or woman) standing.

Why the mainstream media seems to be taking Cain seriously is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it makes a good story. Surely serious reporters all over the country know that Cain is not going to get the nomination. Maybe it is considered impolite to mention that some of the people who hate Obama are racists and would never vote for a black person under any conditions. In a race between Obama and Cain they would stay home or vote for a minor party candidate.

If Cain avoids making any blunders he might survive until Super Tuesday, when a large number of Southern states vote. That will be an interesting day, pitting antiblack bigotry against antiMormon bigotry. It would be a real milestone for a black man to sweep the South, but don't count on it.

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