WASHINGTON (CBS4) – After getting more than double the votes of his opponents in a Republican straw vote in Florida over the weekend, businessman Herman Cain said the "voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media."
On NBC's "Today" show, Cain said the outcome of the poll was authentic but should not be taken as a statement against Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
"People are listening to the message and not just, with all due respect, to the media," said Cain.
Cain won roughly 37 percent of the vote, compared to 15 percent for Perry and 14 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Cain said he doubts Perry's poor showing was the result of his uneven performance earlier in the week in the Orlando candidate debate.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said it really doesn't matter who the Republican nominee is because Florida seniors aren't buying the message.
"We need a President like Obama who is going to focus on job, not one job the presidency, but American jobs," Wasserman-Schultz said.
Florida's straw poll has correctly picked the eventual Republican nominee three times, but experts say it's still way too early to say any GOP candidate is the true leader.
"Sooner or later, one of the candidates will pull ahead and become the consensus candidate," said Professor Charles Zelden. "There will be a second challenger and that will play out in the primary elections."
Until Saturday, the GOP horse race was a two-man contest between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. With Cain's Florida victory, he's established himself in the conversation and could be setting up his run as a vice-presidential candidate as well.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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