Just a week ago the common wisdom was the Republican nominee would be either Mitt Romney or Rick Perry but when Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll this past weekend it showed that clear cut leaders are not as “clear” as many had thought. In fact the 65 year old Georgian had a resounding victory in last week’s poll winning 37% of the votes. To put this in perspective, this is more than double the number of the runner up Perry at 15.4% or Romney at 14% and a higher percentage than the next two combined.
When I heard the news I went to Herman Cain’s website to contribute and as I mentioned this past weekend the site was down. So I did some digging this morning to learn more and found that Alexa, a website owned by Amazon which tracks the relative ranking of websites shows Cain’s site has seen a tremendous jump in traffic since his excellent performance last week in the Republican debate. This likely explains the outage – in fact I am told Cain himself acknowledged the increased traffic level and outage in one of his recent telecvision interviews.
If you missed the debate, Cain was concise, to the point, passionate and likable. Apparently others agreed because you can see from the chart below that as of September 25th HermanCain.com went from ranking around the top 100,000 websites to the top 5,000 or so sites. It is worth pointing out that for the last seven days MittRomney.com is ranked 52,061, RickPerry.org is ranked 39,640 and Cain is ranked 24,921. The direction of the traffic growth seen on the chart however tells a more important story. Keep in mind that as the numbers get smaller, they are not only better but really small numbers represent exponentially more traffic as extremely popular sites like Google and Facebook are in the top 10.
It is also worth looking at the relative trends over the past days and weeks. You see that Rick Perry exploded onto the scene with a page view increase in the last three months of 2,550% but in the last month page views decreased only to pick up a bit in the last seven days. Mitt Romney has lost page view momentum in the last seven days and month while Herman Cain has seen an increase of 118% in page views over the past month and 450% over the past week.
What this data means is that Cain is capturing the curiosity of the public and many are likely intrigued by his 9-9-9 plan referring to a simplification of the tax code where businesses, individuals and purchasers pay a 9% tax. It is fairly novel in that it abolishes payroll, death and capital gains tax. As part of the plan, businesses pay a 9% tax on income but this is after they deduct investments and purchases from other businesses.
Herman Cain has incredible momentum as the Alexa page view chart above shows. Whether or not the momentum continues however, remains to be seen. What I can tell you is the majority of business leaders I speak with know the path of massive government with increased taxes and regulations will continue to choke the economy and new employment with it. And perhaps Cain’s message of simplification with actual specifics is enough to help him win not only the party’s nomination but the White House.