Published: Oct 29, 2011 3:14 PM EDT

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (AP) - Herman Cain's rise in the polls appears to be no fluke.
 
Unlike some other Republican presidential contenders who have flamed out fast after auditioning as the conservative antidote to Mitt Romney, Cain is still riding high atop public opinion surveys.
 
The Georgia businessman lacks the money and organization of his top-tier GOP competitors. But, so far, he's survived several high-profile campaign blunders and an onslaught of attacks on his signature 9-9-9 tax overhaul plan.
 
He's carving out an unorthodox - and some say impossible - path to the White House, largely eschewing early voting states to focus heavily on the South - where tea party groups, social conservatives and evangelical voters that make up the backbone of his support hold sway.