Cain Wins Fla. Straw Poll, Perry Places Second

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Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain pulled an upset victory in Florida's straw poll this weeekend, winning with more than a third of the nearly 3,000 votes cast.

Cain garnered 986 votes, or 37.1 percent.

"Folks, this is what you call momentum. It's a great achievement," Cain said.

His 999 economic recovery plan and common sense solutions took him to the front of the eight-candidate poll.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry finished a distant second.

"There may be slicker candidates and there may be smoother debaters, but I know what I believe in, and I'm going to stand on that belief," Perry said during a campaign stop in Michigan.

Perry won 38 votes more than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who came in third.

Romney, who is putting more emphasis on the primaries and caucuses, left Florida before the straw poll vote to campaign in Michigan.

A New Candidate?

Some political pundits are wondering if the Republican race is really wide open and whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will also jump in.

Earlier this year, Christie told ABC News, "No, I'm not doing it."

Sources close to Christie said he's been swamped by Republican leaders trying to coax him into the race. But Christie's answer remains the same -- "No thanks."

Despite continually declining to run, some say key Republicans are still pressuring Gov. Christie, and even his top advisors aren't sure if he'll join the race.

On Monday, Christie begins a distinctly non-gubernatorial tour, with fundraising stops in Missouri, California, and Louisiana.

The New Jersey governor could really shake up a race full of surprises.

One other candidate who doesn't like being written off early by the media is former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

He told CBN News he's not out of the race.

"I think maybe in some ways, to a varying degree to which the news media in June and July wrote me off, is so different than who I am when people meet me," Gingrich said.

"That I kind of gain a strange advantage of not being the person the media told them I was," he said.

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Mark Martin

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.