It just might be. Why? Because it's built on a surprisingly strong foundation. We covered a New York Times analysis months ago that showed this pretty amazing breakdown:
How unusual is this — for a candidate to hit double digits in the polling despite having such poor name recognition? It’s quite unusual, in fact. I can identify just three candidates besides Mr. Cain who had 10 percent or more of the vote in any early primary poll in my database despite having name recognition below 50 percent:
Michael Dukakis polled at 11 to 13 percent in several surveys from April through June 1987 despite having name recognition of about 30 percent.
John Edwards polled at 10 to 14 percent in several surveys in early 2003 despite having name recognition of about 30 percent.
John McCain polled at 12 percent in one survey in May 1999 despite having name recognition of about 40 percent.
That’s a very impressive group! Mr. Dukakis won his nomination. Mr. Edwards finished in second place in 2004 and became John Kerry’s vice-presidential nominee. Mr. McCain finished in second place in 2000 and became his party’s presidential candidate in 2008.
Sure--none of them became president--but all of them wound up on a ticket. And with this mornings Fox News poll, Herman Cain has now polled higher than any of them in the above polls (though his name recognition has obviously increased since May). He still has a lot of work to do, and he's not the perfect candidate, but he's earned the right in the polling to be taken seriously at this point.