Nate Silver notes the Cain surge after the exits of several other GOP presidential candidates.

What’s especially interesting about Mr. Cain’s standing is that he polls at 8 percent despite being familiar to only about one-third of Republican voters, according to supplementary Gallup data. Of those voters who are familiar with him, 24 percent have him as their first choice. That’s the best figure for any candidate in the Republican field.

Those numbers tell us that Cain does very well with the Republicans who are familiar with him, and that he has a lot of room to grow just by making himself more visible and therefore more familiar. And in Cain’s case, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. He speaks with conviction and spontaneity and with gravitas. The “right of return” answer from last weekend showed that he needs to get a bit stronger on foreign policy, but otherwise he’s off to a great start.