It looks like Texas Gov. Rick Perry is last week's news to Florida Republicans -- pizza man Herman Cain leads the latest poll of the state's GOP voters with a six-point buffer over the second-place former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, in the chase for the party's presidential nomination.
No other candidate in the American Research Group poll even came close to Cain and Romney -- who received the vote of 34 and 28 percent of respondents, respectively -- with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich lagging in third place at 11 percent.
Actually, if you wanted to count "undecided" as a candidate, it would take third place, as 12 percent of the 600 Florida Republicans surveyed don't know who they want their party's presidential candidate to be.
Behind the third-place Gingrich, Perry polled at 5 percent, Rep. Ron Paul at 4 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann at 3 percent, and the rest of the field registered 1 percent or less.
The Tea Party supporters who responded to the survey -- who accounted for 55 percent of the 600 people -- liked Cain even more.
Forty-three percent of Tea Party people went for Cain, with Romney and Gingrich trailing at 19 and 12 percent, respectively.
The 4 percent of the Republican voters who identified themselves as "independents" also went for Cain at 35 percent, with 34 percent undecided and 19 percent for Romney.
American Research Group's previous poll of Florida Republicans, taken in July, was extremely different from the latest results. Then, Perry was leading the field at 16 percent, followed by Romney and Bachmann at 15 percent and Sarah Palin -- who never even said she was running for president -- at 13 percent. Cain trailed the four of them at 11 percent in that survey.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.