Feeling a little deja vu over the latest GOP poll, the one that shows Herman Cain surging as Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann sink? You should, explains Steve Kornacki at Salon, because Republicans have once again embraced the "nuisance candidate." It's a pattern they've been repeating for a while now, with different candidates in the starring role. Bachmann had her moment, and even Donald Trump took a turn. It speaks to the "comically high ratio between fringe candidates and actual viable contenders."
The pattern goes like this, Kornacki writes: "Some sort of triggering event, followed by an encouraging poll or two, ramped up media coverage, even better poll numbers, a surge in fundraising, even more media coverage, and a sudden consensus that the candidate just might have more staying power than we all thought—at which point the moment would end and it would be someone else's turn." And Perry could have saved the party from the latest round if he hadn't bombed so miserably in the debates. Full column here. (Read more Herman Cain 2012 stories.)