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GOP candidate Herman Cain wins early Florida test vote

By Philip Elliott

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 24 2011 4:09 p.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, businessman Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, sing the National Anthem before a Republican presidential debate Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in Tampa, Fla.

Chris O'Meara, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Herman Cain won an early test vote in Florida that lacked most of the leading candidates' participation.

Cain captured 37.1 percent of the vote at Saturday's Presidency 5 straw poll in Orlando, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry coming in second with 15.4 percent. Mitt Romney came in third with14 percent and Rick Santorum followed with 10.88 percent.

While all declared candidates were on the ballot, the first-tier candidates did not compete. Perry bought hundreds of activists' breakfasts on the sidelines before heading to Michigan. Romney skipped and didn't send representatives to the forum.

The results were unlikely to shuffle the campaign's standings. Instead, they were mostly a popularity contest among the delegates selected by local party organizations.

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