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. Hairball

    Cain getting the nomination would be priceless. Then who would these racist teabaggers vote for?

    October 13, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Jerry

    People want Ron Paul. Government/Media wants Cain/Romney/Perry/Bachmann.

    Who will win people or establishment?

    October 13, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. hehsheep

    Why am I not surprised Ron Paul wasn't even mentioned in this article?

    Pretty ironic considering he has a higher percentage than half of the people mentioned here.

    October 13, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Herman thinks: 999, blacks are racist if they support democrats, 999, economic experts are wrong when they say my plan generates $200 billion less revenue and places a greater burden on the states, 999, 99% of America is wrong, 999, if you don't ride in the back of the bus you are racist, 999, only the wealthy can create jobs, 999, everyone will be rich, (who will we hire to fix our roofs?) 999, I had an expert state worker figure out my 999, 999.

    Cain is still the best the GOP has for a candidate.

    October 13, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Jenna

    Romney is the ONLY constant. Cain doesn't give a damn about bluecollar struggles and economic strife.

    October 13, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Youright

    Can you imagine to watch that mousy face of Mitt for four long year? It make me sick.

    October 13, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Sick of it

    I'm so tired of reading these sound offs and it being nothing but a bunch of cry baby liberal's. Example "BLAH BLAH BLAH. I Love Obama he promises me every thing and i can vote myself a paycheck because i sit at home and post about how repubilcan's have no chance. BLAH BLAH BLAH" Get over it. Realy think about it. What has Obama realy done?
    Pass a health care plan ?
    Spend more money than all the other presidents combined in his first year in office?
    Bail out Banks that took the money and ran?
    Have a world tour to apollogize for the way americans are ?
    Think about what has he really done for any body.

    October 13, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. 2012 Election

    As for the Rep line up for Election 2012. Only 1 person is president meterial while the rest are all posers/Fake. That 1 person is Ron Paul but I am not sure if his own party will support his views.

    October 13, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Dale

    The other candidates just blow smoke no solution, Kane he talks about a solution 999, I think the other candidates are jealous they didn't think of it.

    October 13, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. allen

    Name me one thing obama has done for the black community things have got worse big time since he has been in office don't blame bush obama has been in office 3 years an if he knew what to do things would be better people better wake up an elect herman cain an that is just what is going to happen the main stream media is not going to elect the president the people are

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

    Ron Paul is a doctor, he was in the Air Force, he's been faithfully married for 56 years, he's a devout christian, and he predicted the Global Financial Crisis. His favorite president is Grover Cleveland, who presided over the guilded age, which was arguable our most properous period. He has never voted for a tax increase or an unbalanced budget. He has never voted for anything unconstitutional. He believes the wealth gap is caused by a secret private bank that controls money supply and interest rates (the Fed), corporate welfare given out by those who accept their campaign contributions (Not him, and how is this legal?), and finally by bureaucratic regulations that make creating a small business next to impossible. He's the only candidate that understands economics, and he's the only one I trust.

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

    Wish Ron Paul would get more attention. He's the only one who tells the truth. He was absolutely right about Cain wanting to appoint Alan Greenspan during the debate the other night. Alan Greenspan is one of the reasons we had this mortgage crisis, he is part of the problem and you want to appoint him? Are you insane?

    It's about time the media gives Ron Paul much more of the attention he deserves.

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

    I wish this country would smarted up and stop voting for either Repubs or Dems....now THATS a protest.

    Caine is scary. Anyone that denounces the Occupy complaints about inequality as being their own fault is ignorant to the fact that 100% of people are born into a socioeconomic class, some will get out of the lower classes, most won't since it's stacked against them to begin with, and that's by design.

    October 13, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. rehyn

    A Romney-Cain GOP ticket will be interesting.

    October 13, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Sick of it

    The 9-9-9 plan is a good thing. Yes at the start the lower and middle class may pay more. But at phase 2 of the plan we are going to a fair tax. Which means people will pay for thier life styles and by people i mean every one in the USA. Including the illegals and crimals. No more will the money you earn go to groups that are burdening this country down

    October 13, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. c

    When Ron Paul is asked only 4 questions during every debate, how do expect him to "stand out"?!? There is a concerted effort by all media to ignore Ron Paul, despite his front runner status. Despite the media bias, he is still in the top tier. He would be the number one candidate if given the same fairness and speaking time as the other candidates. Only Ron Paul will end the wars, bring the troops home, restore true liberty, fix our monetary system and stop the war mongering.

    October 13, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. Cindy

    ha ha ha I can't believe this is the best they have!

    October 13, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. TwM

    All you obama supporters need to waken up:
    He has done NOTHING as President. well accept for Murdering Ossama bin Laden and polarizing our Great Country to the point of classwarfare.
    Ask yourself three simple questions?
    1) is the Country better today than when he was elected. Answer is simply NO: yes he inheritted a disaster but everything he did was temporary and we are once again sliding towards a recessionary period.
    2) are you better off now or before he was elected. For the majority of Americans again the answer is no. Fact is 9.1% Unemployed. That diesn't even begin to broach those that have fallen off the registers.
    3) is he capable of working with Congress, again a solid No. He even had to bribe his way to pass the health care reform act. His words should ring of his arrognace " I won get over it". As we saw last November the US Citizens did not appreciate his mantra of his way or his way.

    October 13, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Glades2

    Now if MC is added to CAIN I'd be interested – or JB, but not the current crowd, either party – just politicians. Per MC, interesting how this morning CBS had him on for almost 10 minutes asking about various issues, as if they know that he ireally was the better choice in 2008 for knowing what's going on and getting the job done. I'm surprised the media hasn't addressed either JM or JB, since both would make very good candidates...

    October 13, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    love the crowd that claims.."see the Tea Party supports Herman Cain so that PROVES they are not racists"!! Well to be honest the Tea Party is NOT racist but there ARE racists that choose to hide in the Tea Party so their support for a right wing black candidate that supports everything they like is not a shocker. Besides if Cain by chance does win the nomination will that end the right wing myth that blacks only vote for a candidate because they are black? I think the great lack of black support for Herman Cain will disprove that myth.

    October 13, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. S.R.

    What a gaggle of goofs to choose from...........good luck with these retard canidates......hilarious!!!!

    October 13, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Nate

    To the handful of Ron Paul supporters on here: If America is really "waking up" or "listening" or what have you, why is he consistently polling at fourth place or less? Let me guess...you think the media is intentionally printing lower numbers for him, right? I agree that he may not get as coverage as Romney and such, but the conspiracy theories are pathetic and should stop. And if you're going to keep on spouting such nonsense, feel free to back it up with facts obtained via research, not talking points from the Cato Institute. You all talk about how many straw polls he wins, but when have those ever meant anything? Never. The numbers that matter most are those coming out of caucuses and primaries, where Rep. Paul is likely to be smoked because a larger contingent of people are casting votes instead of just several hundred in one city. It's a shame Jon Huntsman isn't gaining more traction. He is the only sensible, genuine candidate in the race. I may not agree with him on every issue, but he is the only one in the GOP crop who, were he to win, I wouldn't lose my lunch over.

    October 13, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Angela

    I would vote for a farm animal before I would vote for Obama. He is clueless.

    October 13, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Johnny 5

    Ron Paul has destroyed them both in the polls but the won't cover that now will they.

    October 13, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Mosses K

    Gov. Mitt Romney will be the 45th President of United States of America.

    October 13, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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