In case you were wondering whether Doug Schoen has completely lost his mind, Schoen clarifies the matter by declaring that the chief beneficiary of Chris Christie's deciding not to run for president is Herman Cain:

I had a chance to hear Herman Cain live and in person last night at the Monday Meeting in New York City. He brought the house down -- getting three standing ovations and captivating a crowd that is usually is more hard-headed and analytical than emotional.

Every poll that I've seen suggests that Republicans are looking for fresh faces, new ideas and most of all optimism about our future. Cain offers all of the above.

If I thought there was a chance in hell that Cain would believe Schoen's hype I'd say Schoen was being cruel to the guy. As things stand, I think Cain will understand that this is Schoen's way of keeping himself awake until the primary voting begins.

The nomination is now officially Mitt Romney's to lose.

Update: Yes, yes, I know polls show Cain in the lead suddenly in North Carolina, Nebraska, and Virginia. The man is having his moment. Blink and you'll miss it. Even if the Cain surge were more than a blip--which it isn't--it would have nothing to do with Chris Christie announcing he won't run. Christie would-be voters are not fueling the Cain surge, such as it is. Cain's supporters are the nut fringe, who seem to have a hard time making up their minds this year. That's the thing about nuts--they're kind of nutty! Christie's supporters are more or less the same crowd as Romney supporters.