Gallup: Herman Cain at 8 Percent in GOP Primary

Gallup: Herman Cain at 8 Percent in GOP Primary

Gallup: Herman Cain at 8 Percent in GOP Primary

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 26 2011 8:23 AM

Gallup: Herman Cain at 8 Percent in GOP Primary

This is a remarkable showing for Herman Cain , who many organizations weren't even including in polls before this month.

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I notice that Byron York led his story on the poll with the news that Palin is at 15 percent. Indeed, with Mike Huckabee out of the race, there's more interest in Palin. But we're talking about the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee who has been the subject of multiple books (including two of her own), two documentaries, and in some months as much as 50 percent of all media coverage of the GOP field. Fifteen percent? That's actually about half of what she got in the very first survey of this primary, a February 2009 CNN poll . Whereas Cain has come out of the gate making knowledge blunders (not knowing what the "right of return" is, for example), getting generally dismissive coverage. There is no team of reporters covering his every move on the trail, as there is for Huntsman. There's no massive scrum outside his appearances, as there is for Pawlenty. And yet he's outpolling Pawlenty.

Yes, yes, national polls aren't incredibly meaningful, but if we compare Cain to the last African-American Republican presidential candidate, he's doing well. In 2000, Gallup never found Alan Keyes rising above 4 percent nationally . And that was the second and strongest Keyes campaign.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.