CNN Poll of Polls: Romney & Cain battle for top spot
October 13th, 2011
11:18 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll of Polls: Romney & Cain battle for top spot

Washington (CNN) – Talk about going from zero to 60 in no time.

Go back just a month or two, and Herman Cain was near the bottom of the field of candidates in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Fast-forward to present day, and the businessman, former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host is battling for the top spot.

A new CNN Poll of Polls of the GOP race indicates that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is on top of the field of candidates, at 23%, with Cain just three points behind, at 20%. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was the front-runner in the national polls in the race for the Republican presidential nomination from late August through much of September, is at 14%, followed at 10% by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who's making his third bid for the White House.

The CNN Poll of Polls, an average of the latest four national surveys in the GOP race, was compiled and released on Thursday. It indicates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in fifth place, at 6%, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at 5%, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Utah Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 2%. Eighteen percent are supporting other candidates or are undecided.

In one of the surveys used to compile the CNN Poll of Polls, from NBC/Wall Street Journal, Cain is on top, with the support of 27% of likely GOP primary voters, with Romney, who's making his second bid for the Republican nomination, at 23%. Cain's four point advantage is within the survey's sampling error.

Cain's been surging in national polls in the crucial states that vote early in primary and caucus calendar, thanks in part to his "9-9-9" tax plan, which calls for a 9% national sales tax, a 9% personal income tax rate, and a 9% corporate tax rate.

Much of Cain's new support may be coming from Perry's drop in the most recent surveys, thanks in part to his uneven performance at the GOP presidential debates, his poor showing at a much-watched straw poll in Florida in late September, and the constant attacks he endured from rival campaigns over his stance on illegal immigration, border security, and Social Security.

The current CNN Poll of Polls is an average of four national polls taken entirely in October: the NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll (October 6-10); the Reuters/Ipsos Poll (October 6-10); the Washington Post/Bloomberg Poll (October 6-9) and the Gallup poll (October 3-7). All of the surveys were conducted before this Tuesday's GOP debate in New Hampshire. The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

While not as crucial as polls in the early primary and caucus voting states, national surveys are a closely-watched barometer of the popularity of the candidates and a gauge of the strength of their campaigns.

Also see:

RNC boasts record-breaking fundraising for September

New Hampshire primary could be early December

Jeb Bush issues Romney praise


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Mitt Romney • Poll of polls • Polls
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. JM

    DIck Cheney wants Barack Obama to be a one term president. I don't want to give
    Dick "war criminal" Cheney anything that he wants.

    October 13, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. GI Joe

    If you want war with Iran vote republican. It will make big bucks for the corporations that contribute to them. Romney's 5 sons still will not enlist, and Cain will sit around in his bedroom slippers while everyone else does the hard work for his freedoms, just like Civil Rights and Viet Nam. Perry? NO WAY.

    October 13, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Paula Greenleaf

    Romney is a lapdog for AIPAC and other pro-Israel , neo-con political lobby groups.

    October 13, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. westward

    Republicans don't want Romney. The field is still wide open.

    October 13, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. doug

    If you think that the president and his attorney general did the right thing in giving Mexican drug cartels free automatic machine guns so that they could use them to kill US citizens like border patrol agents, then by all means vote Obama.

    If you love america and your fellow Americnas, and would never call them the enemy, as Obama stated, or terrorists, as Biden stated just because they have different poltical views than you, then welcome to the Republican party and thanks for your Republican votes in the many years to come.

    October 13, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Woman In California

    ONLY in Mr. Best's (excuse me I meant Mr. Cain's) mind is there a contest. Talk about brainwashed.

    October 13, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Cain's 9-9-9 plan is just as unworkable as Santorum's 0-0-0 plan. Mr. Cain must think we are complete fools.

    Mr. Cain claims that his plan expands the base of taxpayers. I guess that mean he wants that rumored 47% who pay nothing to pay something. But, he claims that their taxes will go down. See the problem? He's talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Mr. Cain claims that his plan levels the playing field. I guess he's referring to the effective rate disparity between the wealthy and the middle class. Under his plan, the bus driver would still pay a higher effective rate than the hedge fund manager for one simple reason. The manager pay less right now because the capital gains rate is a low 15%. Mr. Cain's 9-9-9 plan wants to reduce the capital gains rate to zero. See the problem? He's talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Mr. Cain's plan comes up short on revenue based upon income and gross sales figures from the most recent years on record. Mr. Cain's claims his plan is revenue neutral. The only way that can be true is if he completely eliminates Social Security and Medicare, which is exactly what the plan calls for. See the problem? He's talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    October 13, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Canuck

    I don't really understand what the Republicans have for selling points other than the fact they are not Obama. Their party has sent American troops to be slaughtered in wars that never needed to be fought , and which they still apparently refuse to pay for, and they have ruined the economy which they conveniently blame on President Obama. I'm hoping the American people will see through their BS.

    October 13, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    In the end, while Cain is likeable enough, as a candidate, he has concentrated on his 9-9-9 plan, which simply isn't workable, and will never happen.

    It is that single fact, that will prevent him from being able to win the primary.

    October 13, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Will republicans learn from this poll? Why 9-9-9 so popular among republicans?

    9-9-9 it’s very simple and voters doesn’t like any fine print ideas

    Republicans voters are focusing on fiscal issues not social issues

    October 13, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. B

    The Republicans unfortunately are stuck with Romney as the rest are even less qualified than he !

    Obama is smiling.

    October 13, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. ST

    Though Sarah says: "you do not need a title to make the difference". she is quite wrong. What is making Romney to be at a standstill in polls it is because he has no title at the moment. What people remember him is a former governor and a candidate who failed in his last bid and he is not a new comer. No matter how good he will continue to be a good debater, am afraid he is in danger of being pulled back!

    October 13, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Bill

    They are both buffoons and can not beat Obama.

    October 13, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "While not as crucial as polls in the early primary and caucus voting states, national surveys are a closely-watched barometer of the popularity of the candidates and a gauge of the strength of their campaigns"

    Considering Mitt Romney's poll numbers haven't risen since 2008, I'd say his "barometer of popularity" has been lacking for quite some time now.

    October 13, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. tee66

    The Republicans say anyone but Mitt

    October 13, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. judith

    What these two share are being corporations dressed up in expensive suits. Neither one of acceptable to Americans growing wearing of the corporate oligarchs who are dismantling the middle class. Trickle down does not work fellows, and Cain's 9-9-9 plan is sheer insanity. I'm sticking with Obama who stands head and shoulders above these two, who stand clearly in favor of enriching themselves and the top 1 percent at the expense of the rest of us.

    October 13, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. connieb

    It's going to be interesting to see how the Republicans justify not making Cain their nomination.

    October 13, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Louis in Wisc.

    Let me see the right wing Tea partiers/Republicans voting for a Black man or a non Christian(cultist/Mormon) let me guess Neither will ever happen in my lifetime.....

    October 13, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Stacey

    @Doug; I love America with all my heart and would never refer to her as the "enemy." Having said this, I will cast my vote for Obama because I do love my country and the GOP has proven that they do not love America; they want to control Americans and they love power and lots and lots of money and rich people. Thank you.

    October 13, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Kweg Yung

    Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm and ALL the banks are state owned. These former American companies only pay tax in China, supporting a growing communist government and military. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 13, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Herne

    the only honest candidate is Ron Paul.....everyone I know is voting for him.....yet he is still continuously ignored by our incredibly corrupted media.
    Any poll from any main stream media is completely worthless bias garbage.
    CNN Admins. are completely off their rockers. Outright lies. and worthless opinions.
    This includes ALL mainstream media at this point...they'll tell you whatever they want you to hear.
    True News reporting and factual journalism by mainstream media in this country, is dead.

    October 13, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. ART

    Both of them are idiots one flip flops constantly, the other one only has one phrase 9 9 9, what bozos.

    October 13, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. NVa Native

    Remember how Michael Steele felt real good about being elected RNC chair? He felt confident and presented a witty personna? Then the Grand Old Party felt he was being to much "out there" and threatened him – and Steele responded with "but that's who I told you I was and said – so suck it up".
    I don't think Cain will even get that far.

    October 13, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. JD/Utah

    Ron Paul is getting my vote

    October 13, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Sherry

    Have u all lost your minds!? The top GOP this week is Herman Cain; if you recall it wasn’t long ago that Mr. Cain told the crowd of 400,000+ unemployed people “That if we didn’t have a job. It was “Our own fault.” This proves to me that Money is the main influence in Washington, not “We the People".

    October 13, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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