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If Herman Cain flames out, will Jon Huntsman rise?

Herman Cain’s candidacy is under deadly fire. Rick Perry fell apart. Michele Bachmann flamed out.

Could this be Jon Huntsman’s moment to rise in the topsy-turvy Republican race for president? Or how about Newt Gingrich? Republican strategists and opinion leaders are starting to give both a second look as Cain fends off a string of sex-harassment charges.

Huntsman, in Florida Monday and Tuesday for fundraisers and Spanish-language media interviews, said he’s sensing more momentum for a campaign that has languished in the single digits in public-opinion polls.

“I’ve been getting whiplash watching everybody rise and fall,” Huntsman said Tuesday in Miami. “I think without question people are giving a second look.”

They’ll soon see a lot more of the former Utah governor and former ambassador to China and Singapore.

Along with his three daughters, Huntsman is scheduled to appear this week on Sean Hannity’s Fox show and he said he might make a cameo this month on Saturday Night Live. He also garnered a little buzz in political circles Tuesday for his new web ad, “Scared Mittless,” that jokingly chides Mitt Romney for limiting his appearances with the news media.

Perhaps the most important person to pay attention to Huntsman is Erick Erickson, a CNN contributor and conservative commentator with the influential RedState blog.

“I’m starting to think I need to walk it back on my rejection of Jon Huntsman,” Erickson wrote at the tail-end of a lengthy analysis titled “Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins.”

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No Ron Paul will.

Michael Charney

Huntsman is definitely worth looking at. We here in NH have seen quite a bit of him, and he's very impressive, especially in person. His ideas and track record are well-vetted, and his experience speaks for itself.

Shahab Moghadam

Huntsman is indeed being given a second look by many GOP voters, as his economic plan continues to be lauded by the likes of corporate legend Jack Welch and conservative leader Erick Erickson, not to mention the resounding endorsement of his economic plan issued by the Wall Street Journal. There is also the simple fact that Huntsman is the only GOP presidential candidate who can beat Obama in a general election setting, as the New York Times recently reported.

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