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Cain Encouraged by Middle-of-the-Pack Showing at Ames

GOP presidential contender Herman Cain said he felt “very good” Sunday about his fifth-place finish in the Ames straw poll, despite the fact that third-place winner Tim Pawlenty ended his campaign because of his disappointing finish.

“He made a big investment, and he doubled down, as we call it, and it didn’t pay off,” Cain said about the former Minnesota governor on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Cain contrasted Pawlenty’s decision to sink about $1 million on the Iowa contest to his own restrained spending.

“I run a campaign like a business. In other words, I don’t allow — we don’t allow the spending to get out ahead of the revenue,” said Cain, who is the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. “So we always stay right behind it. And we were still able to be very, very effective. That’s the difference. So we’re not making huge gambles on spending before we get the money.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) won Saturday’s GOP straw poll of 16,892 voters with 4,823 votes, just 152 ahead of Rep. Ron Paul (Texas). Pawlenty placed a distant third with 2,293 votes, followed by former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) with 1,657 votes and Cain with 1,456 votes. Finishing behind him were Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.).

“For me to be finishing in the middle of the pack with a 46 percent name ID and not spending as much money as some of these other candidates, that is a great position to be in,” Cain told CNN host Candy Crowley on Sunday.

“I truly believe, Candy, that I can win the nomination and the presidency,” he said.

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