With the Iowa caucus less than two months away, Republican presidential candidates continued to jockey for position this past week while a new leader emerged in the polls.
Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, has moved into first place in a survey of the Republican contenders, now holding a slight lead over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Herman Cain 26%
Mitt Romney 23%
Newt Gingrich 14%
Rick Perry 8%
Ron Paul 7%
Michele Bachmann 2%
Jon Huntsman 2%
Rick Santorum 1%
And secondly, we already have superiority in terms of our military capability, and I plan to get away from making cutting our defense a priority and make investing in our military capability a priority, going back to my statement: peace through strength and clarity. So yes they’re a military threat. They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.
Although he has received some criticism from opponents and liberal pundits, some quick fact-checking reveals the accuracy of the statement. China has indeed indicated on numerous occasions its desire to develop nuclear capability, beginning with its first successful test of a nuclear weapon in October of 1964. Cain's elimination of China's nuclear stockpile with a single statement is possibly the most effective use of political rhetoric since Gerald Ford freed Poland from Soviet domination during a debate in 1976.
Cain also scored with those most concerned about national security, a group that can usually be assumed to support prioritizing military spending during critical times of military superiority.
Romney continues to tread water with 23% of the survey's respondents indicating support, with Newt Gingrich now a distant third at 14%.
Most interestingly, Texas governor Rick Perry continued his free-fall in the polls, and now is receiving the support of a mere eight per cent of those who indicated a preference. He has fallen from 23% in September of this year to 12% last month to his current share, indicating the loss of nearly two-thirds of his support in roughly six weeks. He remains unshaken, however; the battle-hardened campaigner showed his confidence and poise this week by showing up drunk for a speech:
His slide in the polls must be worrying to campaign insiders, but it's heartening to see the candidate himself taking it so well.
Libertarian Ron Paul was fifth with seven per cent.
The contest kicks off for real on January 3, when the Iowa caucus will be held. This caucus marks the first public delegate selection and has historically resulted in increased media coverage, campaign contributions and heightened credibility for the winner despite the fact that candidates often outnumber the voters.
The first actual primary in scheduled for New Hampshire on Jan. 10, while the biggest delegate prize is up for grabs on March 6 on what has come to be called "Super Tuesday," a combination of seven primaries and three caucuses on the same day. Most of these contests are in southern states, lumped together in an effort by those states to increase their influence on American elections between attempts to secede from the union.