Herman Cain is picking up steam this week, but it still remains to be seen whether he can take his five minutes of fame and use them to catapult himself into the top tier of GOP candidates.
Cain's team started noticing new fundraising success, they said, after his performance in last week's GOP debate. Cain's press team tweeted Saturday, before he won the straw poll, that Cain had fundraised more money in the 48 hours following the debate then he had in the entirety of his campaign. After winning the non-binding straw poll in Florida, however, the money kept pouring in with Cain's staff tweeting Sunday " WOW! Got word that our main donation page is slow due to excessive traffic!"
By Monday morning his staff tweeted that they'd outdone themselves again reporting more contributions in three days then during the whole of the campaign. Notably, however, the campaign has refused to divulge any specific fundraising figures.
"I can say we have been raising several hundreds of thousands of dollars daily and gotten thousands of new donors," Cain's spokesperson Ellen Carmichael says.
Indeed, Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak says with the financial quarter ending Sept. 30, it's unlikely Cain will emerge as a frontrunner financially when quarterly reports are released in mid-October.
"Cain may not be able to fully take advantage of the straw poll victory and the notoriety that comes with it," Mackowiak says. "It takes time to plan a fundraising event where you can get chunks of money and you can't take advantage of that before this quarter ends." [See who's in and who's out of the 2012 GOP race.]
Carmichael says Cain isn't expecting to touch Mitt Romney's level of fundraising, but does believe Cain will do much better than many anticipate.
Regardless, Herman Cain trended second in Google searches Saturday and he scored some important meetings including one with Donald Trump, who ran briefly for the GOP nomination and has since reserved most of his time for candidates considered front-runners. Trump also met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry last month and met with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney on Monday.
Cain's official calendar initially didn't have anything scheduled for this week, but after his victory that certainly changed. Cain's Monday was booked with an appearances on the Today Show on NBC followed by spots on CNN's American Morning, CNN Newsroom, Neal Boortz's radio show, Dennis Miller radio program, where the host endorsed Cain and promised to headline a fundraising event for him, America Live with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Sean Hannity's radio program and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.
The surge of attention is exactly what he needed to stay in the race he said on Today. Cain also admitted that he thought about dropping out of the GOP race for the presidential nomination, and while he isn't counting on a victory yet, he is feeling reinvigorated to move forward.
Even more evidence that he's making moves? The Hermanator has been leaking into pop culture. Over the weekend, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, along with all the other major GOP candidates, was spoofed on Saturday Night Live as saying he'd "deliver". [Read: Herman Cain Would Have Dethroned Burger King Sooner.]
"I am using that line on the next debate," Cain said on the Dennis Miller show Monday morning.