Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll Saturday, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential frontrunner who just two days earlier delivered a debate performance that was widely panned.
Cain finished with 37 percent of the vote, while Perry trailed with 15 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed with 14 percent while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum drew 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul finished with 10.5 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished with 2 percent.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who won the Iowa straw poll in August, finished with just 1 percent of the vote.
“Thank you to the Republican voters for this incredible honor of being named the winner of the Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida today,” Cain said in a statement after the results were in.
“This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored. I will continue to share my message of ‘common sense solutions’ across this country and look forward to spending more time in Florida, a critical state for both the nomination and the general election,” he said.
Perry, who was expected to finish strong had told the more than 3,000 GOP activists who came from across the state that his rivals made a mistake by skipping the straw poll..