Christopher A. Guzman
CA Independent Voters Network
September 28, 2011
With a GOP presidential field lacking a clear frontrunner, I’m going to suggest a radical and what might be considered a far-fetched idea: The Republican Party Establishment is currently being rocked by an unforeseen independent-minded force.
Two men at the moment are at the forefront of stirring this independent intra-party uprising: namely, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain. In addition to challenging media-generated projections of who’s ahead of who, equally (if not more) significant is the disruption caused by Paul and Cain in key states where Independent voters are significant enough for either of the two major political parties to consider.
Take the California Republican Party’s Fall convention that I covered this month. Flanked by hundreds of mobilized followers, Congressman Paul took the convention by storm, trouncing Texas Governor Rick Perry by over 15 points in the state’s straw poll. While there admittedly wasn’t much devoted to helping Perry win this particular straw poll, his supporters still had a sizable presence. Despite the perception that the governor is the Golden Boy, Paul’s following and independent message seemingly dismantled this notion. With Perry not showing up to detail his plan for reaching out to California’s Independents and disillusioned Democrats, it was clearly Paul who stole the show from the media-labeled frontrunner who was once hailed as a game changer in the 2012 campaign. In addition, the man whom the media and Republican Establishment had treated like an immortal Greek god ended up struggling before the television cameras in a recent series of presidential debates.
Perry’s second blow more recently came in a state where Independent voters play a decisive role in deciding the next president–As Florida goes, so goes the nation. Unlike California, Governor Perry knew this concept well. Because of it, he devoted the time and resources that he believed were necessary to win the Florida straw poll held this past weekend. Unexpectedly, Perry was superseded by Herman Cain by a whopping 37%-15%.