Mitt Romney may be at the top of Republican presidential preference polls, but traditional campaign models are not going to guarantee the nominee this presidential season, candidate Herman Cain said Sunday.

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, argued that his recent catapult in the polls is the product of a strategy to create buzz among nontraditional media and social forces.

"There are two dynamics that have changed the political landscape -- the power of the Internet, as well as the citizens' Tea Party movement. Those dynamics neutralizes having the most amount of money," he said.

He added that establishment Republicans like Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer have earned his respect, but they are using an old playbook.

"They are working off of the traditional model of great name ID before you start out, whole lot of money, and you've held public office before. But Herman Cain is just the reverse. But guess what's happening? The American people aren't looking at it from the traditional model standpoint," he told ABC's "This Week."

Cain has recently appeared in the middle of polling of potential and declared candidates, drawing more than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in a recent poll by CNN. Bachmann has not yet said whether she will run.

Cain said he's been able to defy the odds by appealing to voters' desire to keep the American Dream alive, but even he is surprised by the amount of attention he's received from voters and the media.

"Our strategy from the beginning has been to develop a very strong ground game. I've been doing that ever since the beginning of the year. But we are a bit surprised at how quickly I'm starting to show up in the top of the polls," he said.

Cain said his campaign is on track to meet its fundraising targets, but money is less important than it has been deemed to be.

"We'll have enough money to be competitive, but we don't have to have the most amount," he said.

Ultimately, though, Cain said the Republican field is not so diverse when it comes to social and fiscal issues, and that should serve the party well during the nomination process.