“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Calculations Involving Herman Cain's Presidential Bid

As I write this early on Thursday afternoon, 13 October, Herman Cain made the front page of the Wall Street Journal for moving out in front of Mitt Romney by a few percentage points in a recent WSJ/NBC News poll of primary voters.

I've written in prior posts that it makes sense to me that GOP voters should nominate the candidate who would draw the most independent voters. But that was before Herman Cain became a realistic choice to win the nomination.

Now, that arithmetic has to be modified.

This became evident to me earlier this week, when Bill O'Reilly discussed the results of the Bloomberg GOP candidate event with Karl Rove. O'Reilly flatters himself as capable of divining the intent of voters, though he claims to be non-partisan. I don't really think he really understands Tea Party members at all. But O'Reilly proclaimed, and sort of bludgeoned Rove into agreeing with him, that Cain is too far right for most independents, while Romney is not.

Therefore, according to O'Reilly's calculations, Romney is the guy the GOP should nominate.

Not so fast, Bill.....

You see, for Cain, the equation is unique among GOP candidates. It looks something like this:

Total General Election Votes = GOP + share of independents + share of black votes.

Whereas all other GOP candidates effectively share the equation, without the red highlighted term, Cain's is different in that he can draw substantial black votes from Wonderboy.

Thus, while other candidates can, in fact, be reasonably evaluated on the share of independents they attract, since registered Republicans can probably be counted on to vote for whomever the party nominates, Cain can offset a lower share of independent voters with black voters on which no other Republican can depend.

Cain has been quite explicit about this segment, provoking charges of racism from other blacks.

But it does change the calculation for GOP voters. And makes Cain's appeal among blacks important for pollsters to begin measure. Because Cain's net additional, non-GOP voter appeal could well exceed Romney's, if one measures the disaffected blacks who, for the very first time, would have a black alternative to a Democratic national candidate, as Jason Riley noted in his recent WSJ column.

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