Yet another poll confirming Herman Cain's rise to the top of the presidential candidate pyramid has come out today. Public Policy Polling finds him securing 30% of the national primary vote in its monthly poll, a 22 percentage point gain from last month. What is going on here?

While that's a bit better than his performance in other recent polls, the trend nevertheless shows him in nearly a dead heat with Willard "Mittens" Romney. And yet the CAIN SURGE has taken place at the same time that anyone who's followed this race even loosely seems to recognize that Mitt Romney is shoring up his support as the inevitable nominee, or at least as the only one out there who seems to know what he's doing.

How do you explain these contradictory trends? You don't! You just kind of guess and then type stuff. So here goes: There's a specter of Tea Party, anti-establishment, and now, more specifically, panicky anti-Romney feeling out there that's migrated from Trump to Bachmann to Perry and now to Cain. It is an energy that takes over these bodies, one after the other, kind of like Voldemort's soul or one of the X-Men or whichever character it is from the pictures, we forget. Maybe Cain will have it until he says something extremely stupid that dominates the news for a few days and then, what, Santorum will get it for a while? Ugh.

But there is at least one indicator that shows Cain might be able to hold on to it: His favorability rating in this PPP poll was 66%, the highest of all candidates. When Trump, Bachmann and Perry were at their peak, it was always by maximizing support in a relatively narrow band of the electorate.

So maybe he'll hold on, but we still don't "get" this Cain thing. What good reason is there for such a rapid shift in support other than a Tea Party protest vote against Rick Perry at a straw poll and a couple of funny lines at the debates? It's not like he's changed in the last month. He's still the guy with no political experience whatsoever, who admittedly and proudly doesn't care about foreign policy and stresses a wacko economic plan that repeats the arbitrary number "9" three times while taxing the shit out of poor people to bring in lower revenue hauls.

[Photos via AP]