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. sunpacific

    The fact that so many people are falling for Cain's 9-9-9 plan shows how gullible they are. It is essentially a Value Added Tax (VAT). It may not bring in as much revenue as the current tax code does. But one thing is certain: it's a regressive tax which shifts the tax burden from the richest in this country to the poorest. This is typical right-wing-economics: conservatives assume that by making the rich even richer, these wealthy folks will immediately run out, start companies, and begin hiring. This is not the case: the wealthy simply hold on to more money. Look at the banks: after George Dubya Bush approved TARP, the banks received billions of dollars. That's right, billions. The idea is that by giving them this cash, they would loan them out to kick-start the economy. The only problem is that it didn't happen- instead, the banks kept the money to increase their own profits.

    October 13, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Nick

    Have you taken time to read the 999plan?? I HAVE!! Taken from Cain's website.

    •Business Flat Tax – 9%
    ◦Gross income less all investments, all purchases from other businesses and all dividends paid to shareholders.

    •Individual Flat Tax – 9%.
    ◦Gross income less charitable deductions.

    Translation Businesses pay 9% of nothing. You pay 9% of everything plus 9% sales tax. What about Social Security and Medicare?? Cain wants to end them. Good luck with that!!

    October 13, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. John

    Not saying I agree with Cain on everything but even as a moderate, I really like him. Has a great personality, honest, straight forward, good humor, doesn't take himself too seriously and completely represents the American dream. Was poor and because a unbelievably successful business owner. He also answers the questions reporters ask him. I hate when they ask President Obama a specific question and he dances around it and comes back to his talking points. Takes him at least 5 minutes to answer any question. Though race is not important too me, it is nice to see more black conservatives...we all need to open our minds, we don't have to behave and act like the stereotyped subgroups.

    October 13, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. cytwo

    So Herman Cain is surging? Is there anything more contrived than his '999' plan? Why '999'? Why not 10 7 8 or 11 6 9 ? Why this serendipitous '999' ? To me it sounds like little more than campaign jargon. Ron Paul is the serious candidate.

    October 13, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. DwayneL

    Herman Cain is the man that can help this country recover from obama's failures that have led us down the destructive path we're currently on.

    October 13, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. StaciB

    Yes, please give Ron Paul equal coverage. Please.

    October 13, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. JohnLD

    These republicans are all horrid. I don't see any new ideas, just tiny variations of the same policies Bush enacted. Might as well re-elect GW Bush for that.

    October 13, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Paul

    The tax debate amongst all of these politicians is all just Smoke and Mirrors designed to distract America as to what the real problem is. All of the money the IRS collects from personal income tax goes towards paying interest (not the principal) of the $15 trillion or so the US Government owes. You could tax the rich 75-80% and it wouldn't change that. The only solution to this problem is to SPEND LESS–a LOT less. Ron Paul is the only candidate advocating a real solution to the National Debt problem–his solution is to shrink the Government 75% or so and bring all the troops home from EVERYWHERE. He will also strengthen the US dollar, and bring jobs back home simply by removing Government manipulation of both. Vote Ron Paul 2012 if you want some real "Change".

    October 13, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. guidocalzone

    Warren Buffet paid 17% tax on $62M earned – that's the problem!

    October 13, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. eciam

    Go away Uncle Tom CAINbin and take your 666 with you!

    October 13, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. reverance

    One of the most telling elements of this poll is the "don't know or not sure" portion. Dr Paul scored higher than all others candidates consistently in this polling. That is telling to me because the masses are not hearing his message. It's not suprising given the lack of media support/coverage. When the light is shined on Dr. Paul he is true through and through. 30 years of pushing for liberty, transparency and a humble foreign policy.

    Mr Cain while an iconic American rags to riches story; worked for the Fed the same non governmental bank that got us into this mess in the first place. No way I would trust him to turn this nation around.

    Ron Paul 2012

    October 13, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Bev

    america needs to wake up quick romney is not going to beat obama he does not get the middle class because he has never had to want for anything he is so arrogent i really wish someone else would run if even on the independent ticket we can do better

    October 13, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Samy

    I know this is nothing of subsistence, but why does Romney always wear this weird smile on this face? It's just distracting...

    October 13, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. truthspeaks

    Herman Cain 999 Plan is a Cut For The Rich Not Poor Google that

    October 13, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. eciam

    OOPs is it 999 or 666
    doesn't matter, that fine print sinks!
    The rich keep getting there Big Break!

    October 13, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    eciam asked:
    What's with the GOP and the rich folk/big business money?
    As a nation we have given then tax break after tax break, local, state and federal.
    They still took there mfg. , jobs and money overseas!
    ----------
    Clarification is in order here. They didn't take manufacturing jobs overseas. We paid them to do it through lucrative tax loop holes that encouraged the practice. The high cost of labor argument was just a smoke screen to justiy the ridiculous tax breaks they get. If most Americans knew about and understood the full extent of some of these tax breaks, there would be rioting in the streets. Our tax dollars pay for their foreign taxes, which means they manufacture overseas tax-free.

    October 13, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Spock'sBrother

    They need someone in there who can swill beer with the best of 'em at the local bar but yet could also take on Putin in a judo match.

    October 13, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. guidocalzone

    Obama will be re-elected in 2012, however this republican sideshow is amusing.

    October 13, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. maurice 11

    I am a new deal Roosevelt Democrat, a liberal, but I won't be voting for Obama in the next presidential election. I am, however, embarrassed to be in the same camp with those undereducated boneheads who criticize the President for the wrong reasons. With the possible exception of Mitt Romney, all of the Republican hopefuls are small, sick people and entirely unworthy of consideration. Frankly, I've lost faith with both parties. Special interests offer members of Congress money in the form of campaign contributions in return for favorable consideration or opposition to legislation. And all of the members of Congress are "on the take." This is no democracy. I'm beginning to think that King George 111 was right. We should have remained loyal to our Mother Country.

    October 13, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Fitz

    My vote is Ron Paul. He's the only common sense candidate. If more people knew and understood we he's fighting for, he'd be the clear choice. Ron Paul is the only chance America has.

    October 13, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. KB

    thank you CNN for supporting free speech and posting my previous comment..

    as for keith, Ron Paul is on the side of the Constitution, even if that means something you dont like (like the president not having power to kill americans without due process – you know like China) Why is that so hard for you to understand?

    October 13, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. mike

    Perhaps Perry can run in Mexico instead?

    October 13, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. guidocalzone

    Perry is limited intellectually, but a good 'ol boy who could only get elected in Texas.

    October 13, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. us1776

    999 = rich pay less, middle-class pay more, poor pay more.

    So the 1% get an even better deal.

    NOT HAPPENING !!

    .

    October 13, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Jonathan

    But that can't be. Republicans are all racists. Just look at how they disagree with Obama. It's impossible for them to disagree with him because they don't like his ideas, so naturally they're all racist. So then why is Cain leading in the polls? It doesn't make sense!

    Looks like the democrat extremists will have to find a new way to disregard anyone that disagrees with them. :)

    October 13, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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