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. eciam

    Has anyone notice in the media, they never talk about who is supporting Cain.
    Hint; it's not African Americans.

    October 13, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. vet in texas

    hilarious, how can you guys be taken seriously when your frontrunner is the architect of the heritage foundations mandate AKA Romneycare, and the next guy has "no experience" (I remember that phrase 3 years ago), and knows nothing about anything regarding politics.........If Romney was in any office in 2010 you would have voted him out for being a RINO and now your all behind him.....hilarious!

    October 13, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    vic , nashville ,tn wrote:
    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
    ---------------
    The 9-9-9 plan has a lot of fine print that Mr. Cain doesn't like to speak out loud about. He likes to whisper, "Hey, my plan also gets rid of all capital gains taxes." Besides, if he gets rid of the IRS, who is going to collect the taxes? Contractors?

    The Republican voter may very well be focused on fiscal issues. Unfortunately, the Republican politician is focused on social issues. Did you notice what the Republican controlled House is doing today? After successfully, defeating the first iteration of a Democratic jobs bill, they are bringing an abortion bill to the floor for vote. They are going after Planned Parenthood again.

    October 13, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. willard

    People are mocked out of presdient obama cause acorn was cheat help vote for presdient obama

    October 13, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Ancient Texan

    RudyNYC- And you think giving the entire farm away to the corrupt unions is a good plan? Obama is dedicated to class warfare and soaking the "rich" to redistribute to the "poor", but it always seems to be directed to the unions.

    October 13, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. fayeanne

    Cain's 9.99 plan is fatally Flawed. In puts an unfair burden on the backs of the lower-middle class who cannot afford to pay another 9% on their prescriptions and food. It will kill our consumer driven economy. Mitt Romney is the one candidate who can stand up to Obama and speak to all the nation, not just a narrow band of ultra conservatives.

    October 13, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. P

    Watching this Goof at 23% is unreal. I am wondering what the peopel voting understanding of ecomonies and the world are. Actually all these candidates are unreal: free the top 1% from historically low taxes, lwet gand ma die just like in the prior centiry because Social security no good. Screw medicare, we all die one die. And it you are poor its because you are lazy, not willing to work hard and blame yourself. They stop short of calling for suicide.... This Cain guy forget that most people today out of work is because there ARE NO OPENING on shore! These aint the 70s he may have know when he was working.

    All these guys want to return 100 years back. Socially, we would be no better than some tribal country try to make ends meet while the top 1% would reap the resources available. It is hard to imagine US citizen want this

    October 13, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. mtta

    Okay, sell me your 9-9-9. I’m currently paying a little bit above 9% income tax after deductions and exemptions. So 9% income tax Cain is proposing is not going to hurt or help my situation. However, his proposed 9% federal sales tax on top of the state and local sales tax I’m currently paying is going to reduce my buying power. Why should I want to pay 16% sales tax for all non-food items and 11% for food? And having no federal tax on used items doesn’t change anything because I still have to pay state and local taxes on them. So under Cain’s plan the middle class will be much worse off. However, rich people in the 35% tax bracket will save $98,000 and up in their reduced income tax. So the rich will benefit disproportionately at the expense of the middle class and the lower class. As such, I can’t see any point in replacing Obama who makes the middle class worse off with his entitlement programs for the lazy and freeloaders with Cain who robs the middle class to pander to the rich.
    I can understand Obama using his propaganda machine to build up Cain since Cain is no match for Obama, whereas Romney is a REAL THREAT with his superior intellect, experience and moral values. Instead of competing fairly, Obama has a habit of eliminating viable opponents as witnessed in the Illinois Senate race. Watch out, Republicans. Don’t let this clown derail our objective to replace him with a good leader.

    October 13, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    Romney will probably be the nominee and yes he'll get the support of the GOP and Tea Party and Even Ultra Conservatives this time. Last Election, while we were waiting for the conservative to emerge, Liberal McCain slipped in the backdoor. Conservatives stayed home on election day, but not this time. Everyone realizes that any one of these candidates is head and shoulders above what we have now.

    October 13, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. us1776

    TEA is the worst thing to happen to the GOP in over 100 years !!

    .

    October 13, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. steve

    Cain's just the flavor of the day
    He is going nowhere

    October 13, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. shaunh20

    It's pretty rich reading all the comments on here about Cain's inexperience. Where the hell were you when we elected the current President?? The only experience he has is being a rabble rouser.

    Cain is going to win the nomination and be our next President. I think he'll do much better gaining on-the-job experience than the current clueless President.

    October 13, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Keith

    The Obama campaign's FEC filing shows 606,027 people donating with 98% of them donating $250 or less. What do these GOP candidates have to show in comparison? One huge check from the Koch Brothers? Oh sorry, except for Perry of course. I'm sure he has at least four or five massive checks from Texas Big Oil.

    October 13, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. keith beard

    Democrats in full effect on a post about GOP candidates.Coming from the south, Herman Cain can and just might get nominated and if he does. All of Barack Obama's donors wont change the fact that a hard working poor black man from Georgia, who was alive during civil rights and idolized MLK will be running against a half Kenyan from Hawaii. OBAMA YOU AND YOUR CONSTANT LOOPHOLE WRITING CHARADE IS UP !!!! CAIN 2012 !!!!!

    October 13, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Tony in Maine

    I wonder how Mr. Cain will sell in Bubba's Bar and Bait? I'm betting a third party will spring to life if Cain is nominated.

    October 13, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. KB

    Ron Paul won the CNN online poll ??? Where is it? Google it. CNN says Ron Paul got 0%
    well here is one of the many 0 percenters mentioning what CNN wont
    RON PAUL !!

    October 13, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Cybersport

    Cain's plan would increase the tax burden on the middle class, specifically the lower middle class. It would lower taxes for the rich. a national sales tax isn't a bad idea in theory, but the people at the lower end of the scale, who can't take advantage of deductions, would be left hurting.

    October 13, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Steven L. Ross

    I have looked into Herman Cain's background and I must say that I am tired of hte media's focus on his being the CEO of Godfather Pizza, something he did for only a short time. Why doesn't the media push the fact that he was one of the Federal Reserve boards? This seems to me to be much more important as it indicates that he knows more about the American economy than most candidates. Or does the media not want to present a qualified candidate in a good light?

    October 13, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Jake

    this will be interesting to watch! Romney has "Romneycare" and Cain has his Aquila scandal to deal with – both extremely flawed candidates to match up with Obama!

    October 13, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Phyllis

    I am an independent. The only one I would consider voting for is Romney (and BTW, I think he would do at least as well as Obama in a presidential debate).

    October 13, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Ben

    Don't let the media fool you. Just because CNN polled a few of their employees and told them who to vote for does not make it truth. RON PAUL IS THE GOP FRONT RUNNER OF WE THE PEOPLE. Romney/Cain are the media favorites.

    October 13, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Ancient Texan wrote:
    RudyNYC- And you think giving the entire farm away to the corrupt unions is a good plan? Obama is dedicated to class warfare and soaking the "rich" to redistribute to the "poor", but it always seems to be directed to the unions.
    -----------
    Giving what farm away? In case you haven't noticed, the farm was given away a long time ago. The whole thing just trickled away right from under our collective noses.

    Your insuitations about unions is pure demagoguery. For the past 40 years, union membership has been on a steady decline, that was accellerated during the Bush-43 adminstration. America is tired of the disinformation, and the ongoing war on the middle class.

    How come it wasn't class warfare when Republicans at the state level across the country uniformly began an attack on unions? How come it suddenly is class warfare, as you put it, when the cornered animal decides to fight for its' life out of the corner?

    If you prefer your tax dollars going towards corporate welfare, then that is your bad choice. I would much rather see tax dollars pay for roads, schools, policeman and fire fighters, than paying the foreign taxes of some multi-national corporation.

    October 13, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. keith

    You fokls are a hoot. You talk about the Repbublican candidate's experiece after you vote a completely inept community organizer into office? Cain, Romney, or PeeWee Herman would be better than what we current;y have. As for Ron Paul, as long as he's on the side of Bin Laden, I REALLY doubt he will get elected....except maybe in Iran.

    October 13, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. westward

    9-9-9 is a piece of garbage that will instantly raise taxes on the middle class, with a combined sales tax to hover just under 20%. Middle class Republicans supporting Cain are absolutely clueless. Forget the party designation, folks. STUDY each plan – too much is at stake at this point in time.

    October 13, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. MrRobertK

    Do you know why the left does not want Herman Cain t be President? Because when he wins the election if they oppose him in any way they get to be called racist.

    October 13, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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