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. greg

    Cain's 9/9/9 is yet another boon to the wealthy; social security should be applied to all income. and sales, corporate, and personal income taxes are very different animals. I don't see the necessity of putting them together (same tax rate). keeping in mind also that states rely heavily on sales taxes and so we are talking rates upward to 17-18%–a recipe for massive tax avoidance. I do agree corporate tax rate should go down; pay for in part by taking interest stripped from US income and taxed at a lower rate and taking that lost US income to get to the US rate (reduced).

    October 13, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Sooth sayer

    With Obama's plummeting ratings you could literally pick a hobo of the streets and that hobo would easily defeat Obama in 2012

    Obama is by far the worst president the US has ever endured.

    October 13, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. guidocalzone

    Romney is way too slick, but seems reasonable.

    October 13, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. apple pie

    Romney will probably win the nomination. But the fact this guy can only garner 23% support of the base should really worry the GOP faithful.

    October 13, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Keith

    Don't get excited. The GOP owners will be getting rid of Cain. The average Main Street American only gets a say in the GOP nominee AFTER the GOP owners have decided who it's going to be. Do you really think the big money owners of the GOP are going to let the Main Street peons choose the nominee? Puhleeeze!

    Ron Paul who? Sorry Ron, you didn't sell your soul to the GOP owners enough. Michelle Bachmann who? Sorry Michelle, the big business owners of the GOP don't like "loony".

    October 13, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Jon

    Its pretty much exactly as Campaign Trail Mix (http://campaigntrailmix.wordpress.com) said... once they start coming after you, you are legitimate

    October 13, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. AM

    Mitt Romney is a puppet for Dick Cheney to pull the strings.

    October 13, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Starman

    The Mitter is the cream-of-the-crap in this circus.

    October 13, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Peace&Prosperity

    RON PAUL is the only option in 2012. Republican/Democrat makes no difference.. if we can't see this by now, then there might be no hope for this country. RON PAUL 2012!!

    October 13, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. AlaskaPalin

    Republicans have shown that they are not racist. Blacks can now feel comfortable that the party that ended slavery is once more there for them (it has their back). After the let down of the barrack obama economy they can be assured from the polling of cain that the republicans are saying we feel your pain and we are in this thing together. Now we need to work together to change barack obama so as grow the economy and create jobs.

    October 13, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    So it's a race to see who can best court that insane deluded rabble known as the Tea Party. Cain is unelectable – his views are just nuts, and a guaranteed re-election for Obama. His '9-9-9 plan' that he talks so loudly about is the most regressive tax plan in a generation. Why doesnt he just come out and say that Americans should all buckle under and start paying rich people to condescend to tolerate what's left of the middle class? Romney's a much smoother operator, but the Tea Party doesnt like him. He's not an evangelical whack-job, plus they think he's some weird cultist (and all the OTHER dopes trying to grab the nomination are cultivating this idea... See Cain's and Bachmann's bigoted views on faith over the last week...).

    The GOP is eating its young. They'll lose in 2012, and you'll see the House change hands, too...

    October 13, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. iTALIAN NONNO

    9-9-9,.. Sounds like a prefix for a phone number for ordering a pizza. Unfortunately the simpletons amongst us, find that catchy and easy on the cerebral process. We're not buying a pizza Mr. Cain,.. enough of the gimmicks.

    October 13, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. Telchristina

    I don't bother listening to what Herman Cain has to say let alone reading anything on his website. This guy is just a joke of the month.

    October 13, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. vet in texas

    Mitt Romney wants to fundementally change America! If elected, your daughters will be forced to wear long sleeved collared dresses, boots, and churn butter all day earning healthcare.

    How anyone on the right would actually consider a man who believes that Missouri was where the garden of Eden baffles me.

    I don't believe in Joseph Smith, therefore I can't believe in Romney.

    October 13, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Dreamer96

    I would like for Dr Ron Paul to give his views on the steady increase in children with Austim, now 1 in 150 children, and at the same time the increase in the number of children vacines we now require. Starting in the early 1990's the number of vacines have begun a steady increased, from the standard 6 vacines, a typical 2 year old recieved 5 shots by the age of 2 years old.

    Soon after these increases in vacines, so did the cases of Autism appear. Now a typical 2 year old can receive as many as 24 shots total over their first two years of life... As a doctor I would like to hear what he thinks of this parrallel of events.

    October 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. rodger

    can will not win he's just making noise right now. There is no way the GOP is going to have a black man leading them. we might as well get ready for a face off between Romney and Obama.

    October 13, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. rodger

    this is a joke Cain will never win.

    October 13, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. SPQR

    If you think that any of these GOP candidates want to become the next President of The United States of America to help the people after 8 years of W, Cheney and Rumsfeld you better be the 1% because otherwise you are just well you know.

    October 13, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    999 is the worst idea in a generation. Has anyone ever been to Canada? GST anyone? I remember living in Montreal for a few months in the 90s, and with the provincal tax, plus the GST, there was a slaes tax of like 18% on everything! This is no different. Most states will still have an income tax – so we're taxed twice there. And most states will still have a sales tax, too. In fact, many counties and cities have sales tax, too – right now, I'm paying about 9% sales tax already.

    Not to mention that food costs the same whether you are rich or poor. So the tax on bare essentials is disproportionately hard on the working class. Someone pulling down $250K/year doesnt care if his groceries cost an extra $200 bucks per month. But that might put a single mom making minimum wage out on the street.

    And did you notice that capital gains are exempt?? That means professional investors (read: rich people) will have the majority of their income TAX-FREE. While the people who work for a living will pay out the nose.

    Herman Cain's new campaign motto should be, "Let them eat cake".

    October 13, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Dan

    9-9-9... I just figured it out. Turn it upside down and it's 6-6-6. Cain is the anti-Christ.

    October 13, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    @Nick- If you read a little farther, Herman will do away with social programs, (social security, medicare, the VA, and any federal assistance), while giving what is left of our country to the wealthy 1%.

    October 13, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Al-NY,NY

    Only if they want to guarentee reelection for Obama would the GOP be foolish enough to nominate anyone but MIttens...especially mr 999 "i got mine. Don't care about the rest of you" Cain

    October 13, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. t

    Cain, is the man! But most conservatives will vote for ANYONE other than Obama.

    October 13, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Scott

    Ron Paul is the only guy up there not lying out his you-know-what to get elected to keep their career.

    I can't count on these other Republicans to get out of our death marching, and Obama was supposed to get the heck out of these deserts. Can't count on a Democrat either.

    Republican is no longer the "conservative" party. Hasn't been for a decade. So, up on that stage, only Bachmann and Paul are anything Conservative.

    October 13, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. steven harnack

    So, with these polls you have 23% of the 30% of the people in America who claim to be Republicans and this makes a leader? Somebody help me with the math but it would seem to me that the total would be something less that the population of Rhode Island.

    October 13, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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