Former pizza magnate Herman Cain's upset victory in the September 24 Florida Republican straw poll, and his subsequent rise to a competitive third place position in at least one national poll, are being generally interpreted as a function of GOP voter unhappiness with previous "top-tier" candidates (Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and arguably Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul). In particular, Rick Perry's series of ever-deteriorating debate performances have apparently made more than a few conservative base voters restless, creating at least a temporary opening for the smooth and genial Cain, who has always been popular with the Tea Party crowd.
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