MANCHESTER, N.H. — Michele Bachmann was campaigning just north of here, the Sarah Palin tour was rumored to be arriving soon, and Mitt Romney was on his way to announce his entry into the presidential race.
Yet here was another voter swooning for Herman Cain.
“I watched you at the Republican debate, and I have to be honest, I’d never heard of you, but ever since that. …” said Nathan Lyons, 29, his voice trailing off wistfully. “You say it like it is.”
Joan Silvernail, 68, pumped Mr. Cain’s hand, then turned to her husband. “It’s his enthusiasm,” she said. “Wasn’t that what we felt with Ronald Reagan, his enthusiasm?”
Those not frequenting Tea Party rallies or the living rooms and coffee shops of New Hampshire and Iowa might dismiss Mr. Cain, a talk radio host and former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, as a frivolous candidate — “the pizza guy” as some call him.
But there are signs of what Mr. Cain, in his booming baritone, calls “Old Man Mo — Momentum!”
A Gallup poll released last week showed Mr. Cain with the highest voter intensity score of any Republican presidential contender — far higher than Ms. Palin, a former governor of Alaska, or Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts. While Mr. Cain’s name recognition was at 37 percent, it had risen 16 points since March.
Many pundits and voters declared him the winner of the first Republican debate last month. And he won the straw polls at the Tea Party Patriots convention in February and the Conservative Values Conference in Iowa in March.
Of course, the Times cannot just report the news, they have to put in their spin on this don’t they? Get ready for the, Cain is only popular because the rest of the field sucks so bad spin
If few people think Mr. Cain can win the nomination, he is satisfying voters’ desire to fall in love with a candidate. Their passion for him says as much about what the Republican field is lacking as it does about any specifics he is offering.
See, an outsider like Cain cannot be allowed to win, the “experts” and smart pundits will not allow it. So, it is not that Cain has a good message that is resonating, oh no!