Herman Cain supporters launch a super PAC

Republican presidential candidate businessman Herman Cain speaks during a Republican presidential debate, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

In yet another sign of the momentum behind Herman Cain's presidential campaign, the Republican businessman has a new super PAC backing him.

The independent group Americans for Herman Cain launched Tuesday night ahead of the Republican debate, Politico reports, with a fundraising solicitation sent to an email list of Tea Party supporters.

"It's our job to propel him to victory in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Arizona," the email said, promising the super PAC would fund "everything from TV ads, voter mail, advocacy phones identifying Herman's supporters, to get out the vote programs."

Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash on a candidate, though they're not allowed to coordinate with a campaign directly. The main advantage of a super PAC is its ability to collect large checks from wealthy donors (who are limited to giving $2,500 directly to a candidate in an election), but Jordan Gehrke, the campaign director for Americans for Herman Cain, told Politico this super PAC will focus the small donors who propelled Tea Party candidates in 2010. Gehrke last year worked on the unsuccessful campaign for Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle.

"Herman Cain is surging but he needs your help," the super PAC's website says. "Herman's opponents are raising tens of millions of dollars from their big money networks. Herman has you!"

The group has released its first web ad, which calls Cain "a real choice."

"What if we had a nominee who was a really conservative?" the ad asks, next to a picture of 2008 GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. Taking a jab at former presidential candidate and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, it asks, "A nominee who believes in traditional values?"

Returning to the 2012 contest with a picture of Mitt Romney, it continues, "A nominee who wasn't the father of ObamaCare?" Finally, showing a picture of Rick Perry, "A nominee who could actually win a debate with Obama?"

Cain has risen in the polls in recent days; the latest NBC/ Marist poll shows him leading among GOP voters in South Carolina and essentially tied with Romney in Florida. A Pew survey shows that Cain has successfully kept the focus of his campaign on his 9-9-9 tax plan -- it's the first phrase people associated with the candidate -- but that has made his plan the subject of his GOP rivals' criticism.