(CNN) – Presidential hopeful Herman Cain jumped to the top of the Republican field in a new national poll, further signaling the Georgia businessman may pose a strong threat to fellow front-runner Mitt Romney.
In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday, Cain took first choice among 27% of Republican voters, while Romney followed behind at 23%.
Cain's advantage over Romney falls within the poll's sampling error. The survey was also conducted prior to a New Hampshire debate Tuesday that largely focused on the economy, with Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan as a focal point of the discussion.
While Cain has climbed in the polls ever since a late-September Republican debate performance in Florida, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has watched his numbers spiral downward over the last few weeks.
Perry took third place in Wednesday's survey with 16% of the vote.
Behind the top three, Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in at 11%, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8%, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 5%, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 3% and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 1%.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted interviews over the phone from October 6-10 with 336 GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.35 percentage points.
The poll follows another survey this week from an early battleground state, South Carolina, which showed Cain edging out Romney by 1 percentage point. The margin also fell within the sampling error, meaning the two were statistically tied.
Meanwhile, another poll in the 2012 horse race released Wednesday, a Reuters/Ipsos Public Affairs National Poll, showed Romney on top with 23% and Cain in second at 19% - a difference that also fell within the sampling error.
Paul took 13%, with Perry at 10%, Gingrich at 7%, Bachmann at 5%, and Huntsman at 2%.
The Reuters/Ipsos Public Affairs National Poll interviewed 410 Republicans over the phone from October 6-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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So people really want a Federal Sales tax??? You really want to give the government a new revenue stream? This man is a Federal Reserve insider and an Alan Greenspan lover…I’ll pass.
I still wonder if some of these republikans are confusing "herb" cain with mccain? Wouldn't put it past them.
faux news – we make it up!
Seriously....this guy wants to abolish medicare and social security, plus the 999 thing. He will never be nominated. He is merely the flavor of the week.
I like Cain simply for the fact that he's not heavily financed by big corporate. He seems to be developing popularity through his strong debate performances and it is refreshing to see more of a grass roots candidate. So glad to see Perry falling off the cliff, along with Bachmann. Now it's time to drill down on his 9-9-9 idea to see if it has merit.
Cain is the top dinggleberry of the republican candidates this month but next month another dinggleberry will best him. Period.
I have one son in Afghanastan now and one joining the Air Force. The thought of someone who was in the pizza business being our next Commander in Chief frightens me.
Teapubs say that Prez Obama had no prior experience for being Prez. It seems many of those who said that, now say that a man who has absolutely no experience whatsoever in politics, Cain, is right for the presidency. What gives with that thinking? BTW, his regressive tax idea would only hurt the middle & those below who can ill afford higher sales taxes. It would cause those ppl not to buy goods & services. A 9% sales tax in additon to state sales tax is a ridiculous plan. Again, the Teapubs would only help the rich & cause harm to the other 98%.
Cain has a good chance to win the nomination, because he has views that conservative white america dare not to express publicly.
Because he is a black man He is able to say those things With little backlash.
This also will be An opportunityto for republicans to show that they are not racist. also this will be the answer to change against barack obama on the republican side.
I read that his tax plan would raise taxes on middle class?!?!?! At 9% tax rate, NOW WHO ISNT PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE? Middleclass families that who