Herman Cain will continue with his campaign regardless of how he fares in the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday, Cain told NBC News in an interview yesterday.
Cain, who has had victories in other straw polls this year, said he considers Ames more of a barometer of his supporters’ enthusiasm, rather than an indication of how many votes he would get in the presidential caucuses.
“If we come in first, second or third that would be spectacular," Cain said. "That would be a success. But if we come in fourth, fifth or six, that’s not a loss, because the straw poll is a barometer. But it is not the only thing we are looking at. We’ve already made the decision that we are going forward after the straw poll.”
Cain also said that the looming presence of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has generated buzz for weeks over his potential presidential bid, will not make a difference in his campaign, pointing to what he characterized as the stalwart enthusiasm of those who already support him.
“When people decide they’re supporting Herman Cain, we don’t get many defections," he contended. "We might get a few, but we don’t get a lot of defections just because other people come into the campaign."
He continued, “As an example, I have a lot of respect for Rep. Michele Bachmann, but our support hasn’t fallen off simply because she got in several weeks ago. And I don’t anticipate any fall off in our supporters if Governor Perry gets in."
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will be performing with Cain at Cain’s straw poll booth on Saturday. Shortly after that announcement was made a few days ago, however, both Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum’s campaigns also announced that Huckabee, a bass player, would be performing with their entertainment at the straw poll as well.
Cain said that was no slight to his campaign.
“I think that’s just an indication of his statesmanship,” Cain said of Huckabee. “He’s not trying to alienate one or the other; he’s not trying to play favorites with one or the other.”
Cain will provide the vocals, while Huckabee plays bass, but said he has not yet discussed with the former governor what songs they’ll play.
“I gotta figure out what he can play and what I can sing and figure out what I can sing and he can play. We might just end up doing a duet of 'do do do do do do,' who knows. We have no idea,” Cain said, laughing.