Bringing a blow to Texas Governor Rick Perry's favorite status, former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain has emerged as the winner of the Presidency 5 straw poll Saturday. Cain received 37 percent of the 2,657 votes cast.
Tonight's winner is Herman Cain, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced. It shows you something, the road to the White House come through Florida, and it pays to spend time here, he added.
This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored, Cain said.
Thanking the Republican voters for the incredible honor, Cain said that he will continue to share his message of common-sense solutions across the country.
Cain was followed by Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The fourth spot was occupied by Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, while Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and House Speaker Newt Gingrich landed in fifth and sixth place respectively. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann finished last.
Just before the vote, it was Cain, Santorum and Gingrich who personally addressed the crowd, while the rest of the candidates sent surrogates to speak on their behalf, the Washington Times reported.
Attacking President Barack Obama, Cain said that at a time when the U.S. is going through severe economic, global and moral crises, the biggest crisis is something else - a severe deficiency of leadership in Washington, D.C., and in the White House.
Cain once again promised that he will replace the tax code with a 9 percent tax on businesses, personal income and sales.
Meanwhile, Romney opted out entirely from participating in straws poll.
Our campaign has made the decision to not participate in any straw polls, whether it's in Florida, Iowa, Michigan or someplace else, said Matt Rhoades, Romney's campaign manager. This time we will focus our energies and resources on winning primaries and caucuses. We look forward to bringing Mitt Romney's strong pro-jobs message to every part of the country.
On the other hand, Perry invested both time and money into the contest. He hosted a breakfast on Saturday with thousands of delegates, where he delivered his last pre-poll sales pitch.
Here are the Republican Party's straw poll results:
- Herman Cain, 37.1 percent
- Rick Perry, 15.4 percent
- Mitt Romney, 14.0 percent
- Rick Santorum, 10.9 percent
- Ron Paul, 10.4 percent
- Newt Gingrich, 8.4 percent
- Jon Huntsman, 2.3 percent
- Michele Bachmann, 1.5 percent