Cain wins PCRP Butterbean Poll

Published 8:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2011

The butterbeans have spoken, and Herman Cain is the clear favorite among Pike County voters.

Cain was the overwhelming winner of the Pike County Republican Party’s Butterbean Poll conducted during the Pike County fair. With 300 votes cast, Cain won 40 percent – or 122 votes. New Gingrich came in second at 13 Percent and Michelle Bachmann came in third with 10 percent.

“I’m surprised and I’m not surprised,” said Brett Vann, vice chairman of the Pike County GOP. “I expected him to do well, but I didn’t expect him to do that well.”

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Vann said voters who took part in the straw poll expressed a common sentiment. “The majority would say the same thing: (Cain’s) the only one running whose not a politician and he’s the only one who pretty much has stayed on consistent on his message throughout the debates.”

And, he said, the results surprised voters, as well. “Most people would say, ‘I voted for Cain, but I didn’t think he could win.’”

Vann said the GOP party leaders decided to hold a straw poll to take the pulse of Pike County prior to the statewide presidential primary on March 13, 2012. They will repeat the poll at the Peanut Butter Festival in Brundidge on Oct. 29. “But we’ll use peanuts instead of butterbeans,” he said.

Not surprisingly, Vann said, the voters in the poll echoed a concern over the state of the country and the economy. “It’s not about social issues; it’s about the economy,” he said. “It’s painful for everyone out there.”

And, surprisingly to Vann, fair-goers wanted to cast their votes and make their opinions known. “When they found out what we were doing, we had a quite a few people who would got get family members and make sure they voted before leaving the fair,” he said. “Everybody seems sick of the status quo. They’re looking for somebody they can believe in.”

Vann described the early stages of the 2012 presidential election as an “electrifying election cycle.” He said the national tide of unrest, driven largely by economics, is leading to the more support for Republican candidates. “People would say, ‘here’s my number one, my number two ..’ and they indicated that if their first choice didn’t win the primary, they would support their number two or number three.”

The other candidates represented in the poll, and their votes are: Mitt Romney, 28; Rick Santorum, 20; Rick Perry, 19; Ron Paul, 15; Gary Johnson, 14; John Huntsman, 13.