Herman Cain is the new Tea Party fave of the month, mainly because he got 900 votes in a Florida straw poll and fessed up that he survived a bout with cancer a few years ago. Before that the flavor was Rick Perry. His tea has cooled because the macho-talking Texan resembles George W. Bush … on immigration and enunciation. And Michele Bachmann … how the mighty have fallen. Voters took a big sip of Bachmann tea after her straw poll win in Iowa and couldn’t spit the taste out fast enough. Michele is now dueling with Rick Santorum for 3 percent in the polls.
I can hear the protests; yeah, I know Ron Paul gets a consistent 8 to 15 percent in the national polls. And he’ll probably have the same numbers long after most of the candidates have clocked out. But that’s because 8 to 15 percent of Republican voters share Paul’s odd fear that building a fence on the Southern border is designed to keep Americans in the U.S., rather than illegals out. (Watch)
There’s one constant in the Tea Party right wing tea-sipping contest, though. And that’s the continued strength of Mitt Romney. He remains the GOP frontrunner as the Tea Party faves boil and cool. I recall that many thought that the entry of Perry in the race would badly damage Romney. The reverse occurred; having a tough competitor made Romney a better candidate. The debates also contrasted Romney favorably with Perry.
No one’s wrapped this up yet, and I expect Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman to build some steam, although the latter’s momentum won’t come from tea partiers. But Romney’s consistency bodes well for him. He’s experienced, battle-tested and on message. He also garners support from those Republican voters — Main Street voters — who are not Tea Partiers. (Read) In fact, Romney’s success so far is a reminder that the Tea Party is an interest group, and not the majority of the Republican Party