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. Lolo

    The republican /tea partiers have blocked everything that this president has tried to do for America. Their ignorant followers keep asking what has President Obama done? He has tried, but they refuse to let America grow. The republican/tea partiers are trying to deny the right to vote, cut education, denied the jobs bill, want to start a war with Iran, want to keep the poorest Americans poorer and I could go on and on about their so called policies and solutions. They put us in this mess and now they want us to let them drive us further into the ditch. No way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am definitely voting Democratic across the board as should everyone ele who wants to save America. They care nothing about regular people. No watch their followers deny it.

    October 13, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. 2012 Election

    Special Interest and Media have plotted a coup against Ron Paul. Despite his good performance they don’t want to give him any media coverage instead they focus on all the loser candidates. This is PURE DISCRIMINATION. I hope this treatment of RON only goes on to make his supporter stronger and come out and Vote for him every chance they get.

    October 13, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Sheila

    I'd vote for Herman Cain a thousand times before I'd ever consider voting for Mitt Romney. Romney enacted Romneycare and has no actionable plan to fix the economy.

    October 13, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. SD

    Well, I never voted in these polls and I would have voted for Ron Paul.

    October 13, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. zip

    Herman Cain was born in Uganda to buddhists!! Why won't he produce his birth certificate??

    October 13, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. REG in AZ

    "9, 9, 9" is a ridiculous proposal that may sound great to the very wealthy but would be a totally irresponsible policy if ever seriously considered. Again, it is just another offering that gives everything to the very wealthy and penalizes the middle-class greatly while sticking it to the poor beyond reason. It should be seen for what it is – an irresponsible proposal that should never get real consideration and be seen as just trying to get attention. What won't this people stop at next? The Tax Code needs to be redone ... but responsibly, with a conscience and realistically so it will actually work.

    October 13, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. NYCMovieFan

    So – the Republicans are going to back either Romney, famous for sending countless jobs abroad and gutting companies for a fast $250 million for himself, OR Cain, who profited off the backs of minimum wage workers and now wants to tax the poor into even greater poverty?? Excellent – Glad to see that Obama will DEFINITELY be getting a well deserved second term to work FOR the American people not against them as the Republicans want. Hope Cain wins the nom, just to see the entertaining debates with Pres Obama!!!

    October 13, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. troy

    I don't trust Romney. He flip flips, and I frankly don't care for the Mormon faith, and its belief it multiple wives and magic underwear. We need someone like Colin Powell to run.

    October 13, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Mike

    People keep saying the 9-9-9 plan is unworkable, but it's not that far away from being a good plan. It just needs another 9 in it... a 9% capital gains tax. I know Cain is against it, and I can understand his arguement, but a 9% capital gains tax is still better than the current 15% for investors, it fills the revenue gap between 9-9-9 and the current tax code (and probably even increases overall revenue) and it solves the glaring problem of people who make money with labor paying more taxes than people who make money with money. Now they're both essentially paying the same... 9% income and 9% sales tax vs. 9% capital gains and 9% sales tax. It also solves the difference in taxation that occurs when lower income individuals spend a far far higher percentage of their income than they invest, as both spending and investment will be taxed equally.

    October 13, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Recovering Republican

    Perry (the poster child of American whiteness) came in third, behind a Mormon, and an African American, in a GOP race of all things. I never thought my GOP could ever be so "evolved". I still think Romney is a talking head, but I am so proud of my party right now. I am starting to think the GOP may have a chance in 2012.

    October 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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