Herman Cain surprised the GOP with a resounding straw poll victory in Florida. He says, “messing with Israel means messing with the USA.”

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain scored an upset and lopsided victory in a “straw poll” in Florida, leading the pack and winning twice the support given for front-runner Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Two days before the Saturday poll, Cain told Fox News following his recent visit to Israel, where he met senior Israeli officials, “If you mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America."

In the Florida poll, Cain won the support of 37.1 percent of the voters and Perry won only 15.4 percent. Mitt Romney was in third place with 10.4 percent support. Newt Gingrich was in sixth place with 8.4 percent and Michelle Bachmann‘s popularity was a measly 1.5 percent.

Cain, who rescued Godfather’s Pizza from bankruptcy, has a long record of business successes.

He has said that his never having held public office is a strong point in his favor because, in his words, the public is fed up with professional politicians.

In his pre-straw poll speech, Cain said, “Just because somebody has never held high public office, some people are spreading the nasty rumor that Herman Cain can’t win.... When you cast your ballot at this straw poll, send Washington a message: they’re ready for a problem solver, not another politician. They’re ready for solutions, not more speeches.”

He still is considered as having little chance of winning the Republic nomination, but his stunning success in a debate with GOP contenders last week helped him in the poll. It was the first time Cain has agreed to participate in a debate, and his communication skills clearly overshadowed Perry.

The straw poll was more of a blow for Perry than a victory for Cain. Perry congratulated Cain on his straw vote victory, saying that “Floridians and voters nationally want a candidate who is clear on the issues and talks honestly about the future.”

“I don’t believe Herman Cain will be the nominee, but I hope that [his] standing for some of the more conservative candidates sends a message that I hope will be embraced,” Florida GOP delegate Kevin McNevin, told Politico.