Okay, so the two "frontrunners" for the GOP nomination are Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Or, if you want, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
But, something happened on the way to Conventional Wisdom:
Who are the most exciting candidates (according to a pre-Tea Party Debate Gallup Poll) in the eyes of our much-wooed Independent Leaning voters?
1) Rick Perry (24%)
2) Herman Cain (22%)
3) Rudy Giuliani (18%)
Now, I'm sure if you dive into the internal components of the poll, its' inevitable flaws will plop out. But, Mr. Cain has been in the second position for over a month now. And yet Mitt Romney still hovers above Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman (who both have 10%) with a 16% share. That's not an insignificant spread.
At least among the ballyhooed Independents, it looks like this two-man race has about five or six more contestants that deserve mention than are typically given to the Conventionally Wise. And the real eye-opener is that Herman Cain --who hitherto gets less notice in the Sunday papers than the marriage announcements-- wears so well on those that haven't made at least a skosh of a commitment.
So, why aren't the Karl Roves, and the other insiders and customer's lackeys out stumping for Cain? Aren't they always shilling for some "moderate" that appeals to "independents"? Cain is clearly playing better, and more consistently amongst the "Independents", than the Mittster.
Can it be the hair?
Now, I'm not quite sure why Rudy shows up in this poll --maybe the operators were given a script from 2008, who knows? Whatever the reason, Cain is an announced candidate, was a man with about zero percent name recognition, and yet: There he is.
Hmm. Interesting. THIS is a bandwagon I could join, if it ever got rolling.