The Washington Times - May 9, 2011, 12:26PM

News media over the last two days is reporting that GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain will announce his bid on May 21. Several sources around the campaign are telling me this is the case. Before this news was revealed, I spoke with Mr. Cain’s campaign manager Mark Block, who gave me his insight on the new found mainstream Republican popularity Mr. Cain received from the South Carolina debate.

“Frank Luntz said it was unprecedented how many people hadn’t heard of Mr. Cain before the debate and afterward it was over fifty percent of the people who said he won the debate,” Mr. Block told me. “What’s interesting is that 53 to 60 percent number holds up in almost every event that he has done [with other potential GOP candidates] in either a straw poll or poll after each has spoken.”

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Mr. Block then added, “A week ago today, it was in New Hampshire with Romney and Bachmann added to the lineup and the online straw poll of people that watched the performance at one point , Mr. Cain was tracking at 61 percent…settled down to 54 percent. On April 15, again in New Hampshire, at a live straw poll at a tea party event when they texted that preference…again over 50 percent when he’s with the other potential candidates.”

Mr. Cain is indeed gaining more exposure than before and Democrats as well as Republicans are taking notice. The new Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz told the Hill:

“I thought it was interesting that the Fox focus group’s reaction was that the person who was a business leader was the one that won the debate,” Wasserman Schultz said on Fox News.