Cain's challenge will be to increase his name recognition and convince voters that they can take a chance on a candidate who has never held elective office. Cain has plentiful executive experience in the business world. Can he successfully argue that this is enough, or even preferable to political experience? History says no. As we saw in an earlier post, no one made his way to the presidency using a business background during the 20th or 21st century. Every president had political experience except for General Dwight Eisenhower who was the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II (a job which, in many ways, did involve politics).
Luckily for Cain, his competitors lack his ability to excite audiences. Most of the field consists of drab candidates, especially now that Huckabee and Trump are gone. Cain will need to bring his charisma onto the stages of the major primary debates. To do that, he will need to get sufficiently high poll numbers to be allowed at the debates. If the May 5th debate is any indication, the bar will be set low enough--at first.
Though Cain's performance on May 5th wasn't his best, he still received the most positive attention. As the only black candidate in the race, he is guaranteed a certain amount of publicity, while other candidates will struggle to distinguish themselves from the pack. Cain was further bolstered by Huckabee's decision not to run, opening the field in Iowa and South Carolina. After Huckageddon, Cain's odds were boosted just enough to push him into the top 5 in Elephant Watcher's Rankings.
Bachmann, Christie, and Palin have yet to enter the race, so Cain may be able to use this time to gain traction among the Tea Party wing. The Republican establishment wing, on the other hand, will never accept Cain since a candidate without political experience will not be viewed as electable. Most primary voters are strategic as well, and Cain will need to convince them he can beat Obama.
News posts related to Cain will have the Cain "tag". For detailed assessment of Cain's strengths, weaknesses, and strategy, view his Profile. Elephant Watcher calculates Cain has a 5% chance of winning the nomination.