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The Georgian also said he is happy to get 6 percent to 10 percent in national polls at this point, given that a few months ago he wasn’t even on any polls because his candidacy wasn’t taken seriously.

He said he has been winning straw polls among tea party and other conservative activists, more even than Mrs. Bachmann, his principal rival among declared candidates for tea party support, including in The Washington Times/Conservative Leadership Conference poll in Nevada on July 9.

“She said she doesn’t have an exclusive franchise on their love,” he said. “I think they love both of us equally. Some of them haven’t decided which one they are going to cast their vote for, but they love us both equally.”

Mr. Cain mentioned a Lincoln Day dinner in the Deep South, where he was greeted with an outpouring of enthusiasm from the 350 people in attendance, about 60 of whom were black.

“I was surprised there are that many black conservatives in Birmingham, Alabama,” Mr. Cain said with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.

He also touted his oft-praised manner as part of the reason he would be the ideal candidate to confront Mr. Obama, reputed to be an eloquent speaker, but whom Mr. Cain said only once persuaded the public of anything — to go along with his health care bill.

The difference is, he said, “I have charisma with substance.”