The political long shot for 2012 – Herman Cain
– is already a winner.
Cain, who is the first of the 2012 candidates to form a presidential exploratory committee, won the American Policy Summit's
presidential live straw poll on Sunday held by the Tea Party Patriots conference in Phoenix.
On Twitter, Cain wrote
: "Honored to learn that I won the Tea Party Patriots' presidential straw poll. Thanks for your support!"
According to the Cain camp, out of 14 options on the ballot and 1,600 votes, Cain came in first with 22 percent in the straw poll. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty
of Minnesota was second with 16 percent of the vote. Both attended the summit. The summit also hosted an online poll, which Rep. Ron Paul of Texas won with nearly half the votes. More than 2,300 people voted online.
A conservative talk show host in Georgia and former Godfather's Pizza chief executive, Cain has spent the last year attending more than 120 tea party events around the country. On Friday, he attended a summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Cain says the tea party movement will not weaken in 2012 but only gain strength as more people engage in the political process. On Sunday, he tweeted: "Today is 2nd anniversary of Tea Party. As a proud member, I'm here to tell you- movement isn't dying out. It's getting stronger!"
On Thursday, Politico reported
that Cain had incorporated Friends of Herman Cain under a section of the tax code - 527. Such a designation would allow the group to accept unlimited donations from individuals and corporations.
On Twitter, a movement is developing for a ticket of Cain and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey
ticket in 2012.
Cain will appear on Monday in Washington at the Legacy Political Fund
, which is hosting its two-day Washington DC Briefing 2011.
A host of popular Republicans, and possible 2012 candidates, are expected to speak on Monday including former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania
and Sen. Jim Dement of South Carolina.