Were you wondering precisely why Herman Cain is having his moment? The folks over at NBC News' First Read read the tea leaves:
According to the NBC/WSJ poll, this is pretty fascinating: Cain over-performs vs. Romney in the GOP horse race among high-interest Republican voters, men, those 55-plus, Republicans who have college educations, Tea Party supporters, and those who identify themselves as “very conservative.” Where Romney over-performs: less-interested voters, women, non-Tea Party Republicans, and moderate/liberal Republicans. In fact, re-read the responses from the RE-interviews: These are folks who ARE watching the debates and who are paying attention to the day-to-day campaign. These numbers are yellow flags that border on red for Romney. Why? He’s being propped up by folks who simply are familiar with him, not those who are actively following the campaign. Ouch.
Of course, there's one other critical area where Mitt Romney overperforms Herman Cain: stacking dollars. Dave Weigel briefly summarizes:
The early word on third quarter fundraising numbers: The frontrunners are still the frontrunners, and the Cain surge is only belatedly being matched with money. The numbers we know:
Rick Perry - Around $17 million.
Mitt Romney - "More than $14 million."
Ron Paul - $8 million.
Herman Cain - "North of $2 million." (That's about what he did in the second quarter.)
Cain might be on the verge of pulling in more campaign cash then he's previously managed on the strength of this recent surge in public support. But do you think Romney's sweating this? Hell, no. And this is why despite Cain's sudden success, you don't see a lot of pundits talking about his "path to the nomination." There may be one, but he might not be able to afford to travel it. As they say, "C.R.E.A.M. Get the money. Dollar, dollar bill y'all."
[First Read; Weigel @ Slate]
John Sides reminds us that Barack Obama can be a pretty negative campaigner when he wants to be: "Here’s a fun little quiz. What percentage of Obama’s television advertising during the 2008 campaign included an attack on John McCain? Well above 50%, according to research by the Wisconsin Advertising Project (pdf). And what percentage of statements by Obama or Obama spokespeople that were reported in the New York Times contained attacks on McCain? About 40%, according to the the book Attack Politics by Emmett Buell and my former colleague and Monkey Cage contributor Lee Sigelman. (The comparable figure for McCain was 50%.) Now, according to Buell and Sigelman’s data, Obama’s campaign was less negative than many other past presidential campaigns, but it was hardly just hopey-changey." [The Monkey Cage]
Mitt Romney's haggis problem? Mitt Romney's haggis problem. [Alex Massie]
"Rick Santorum’s campaign is challenging Herman Cain to name all of the economic advisers behind his “9-9-9” tax plan," probably because he is understandably loathe to use Google. [Politico]
Rush Limbaugh twists the knife: "Romney is not a conservative. He's not, folks. You can argue with me all day long on that, but he isn't... This isn't personal, not with what the country faces and so forth. I like him very much. I've spent some social time with him. He's a fine guy. He's very nice gentleman. He is a gentleman. But he's not a conservative." [Taegan Goddard's Political Wire]
Herman Cain says that he stands apart from the field -- especially Mitt Romney -- because he's "actually made some pizzas [himself]." Who hasn't made a pizza? [Politico]
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