By Shane D’Aprile – 12/28/10 02:09 PM ET
Herman Cain’s presidential rumblings haven’t garnered much national attention, but that isn’t because he lacks popularity among grassroots conservatives or because he’s shunned visits to early-voting states.
The conservative talk-radio host is a bona fide Tea Party rock star who’s a regular at their events and serves as a commentator on Fox News.
By his count, Cain has visited Iowa six times in the past year and has supporters making calls to key activists in the state. He’s also made three trips to New Hampshire, one to South Carolina, four to Texas and two to Florida.
In an interview, the one-time Senate candidate and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza told The Ballot Box that he’s serious about running and thinks he can shake up the race for the 2012 GOP nomination.
"I would represent that unconventional, non-establishment candidate that a lot of people are looking for," said Cain, a conservative black Republican who described the current field of GOP hopefuls as "the usual suspects."
"I respect them," he said of the Republican names in the mix. "God bless them. But the more people running, the better."