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Jul 31, 2011 4:32 PM by Matt Stafford

Cain charms conservatives meeting in Denver

DENVER (AP) - Georgia businessman Herman Cain charmed several hundred conservatives meeting in Denver, who handed him a wide straw poll victory in a hypothetical Republican presidential field.

Cain spoke to the Western Conservative Summit moments before the poll Sunday and drew the downtown Denver crowd to its feet with a compelling life story and biting criticisms of Democratic President Barack Obama.

With 508 people voting, 48 percent chose Cain as their favored presidential candidate. Second place went to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has not made formal his presidential campaign but addressed about 1,000 people at the conference Friday night.

Two other presidential hopefuls, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, got 10 percent each. Santorum addressed the group Friday, and Romney won Colorado's Republican presidential caucuses in 2008.

Nine other Republicans split the rest of the votes.

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