New national poll shows Cain at top
October 12th, 2011
09:52 PM ET
11 years ago

New national poll shows Cain at top

(CNN) - Presidential hopeful Herman Cain jumped to the top of the Republican field in a new national poll, further signaling the Georgia businessman may pose a strong threat to fellow front-runner Mitt Romney.

In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday, Cain took first choice among 27% of Republican voters, while Romney followed behind at 23%.

Cain's advantage over Romney falls within the poll's sampling error. The survey was also conducted prior to a New Hampshire debate Tuesday that largely focused on the economy, with Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan as a focal point of the discussion.

While Cain has climbed in the polls ever since a late-September Republican debate performance in Florida, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has watched his numbers spiral downward over the last few weeks.

Perry took third place in Wednesday's survey with 16% of the vote.

Behind the top three, Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in at 11%, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8%, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 5%, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 3% and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 1%.

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted interviews over the phone from October 6-10 with 336 GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.35 percentage points.

The poll follows another survey this week from an early battleground state, South Carolina, which showed Cain edging out Romney by 1 percentage point. The margin also fell within the sampling error, meaning the two were statistically tied.

Meanwhile, another poll in the 2012 horse race released Wednesday, a Reuters/Ipsos Public Affairs National Poll, showed Romney on top with 23% and Cain in second at 19% - a difference that also fell within the sampling error.

Paul took 13%, with Perry at 10%, Gingrich at 7%, Bachmann at 5%, and Huntsman at 2%.

The Reuters/Ipsos Public Affairs National Poll interviewed 410 Republicans over the phone from October 6-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Also see:

New polls: Cain up, Perry down, Romney steady

Polls: What if Christie had run

Poll: Massachusetts Senate race heats up

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    This must have the GOP elites in a tizzy! See, they trotted out Michael Steele to provide cover that they weren't racist; ditto on Cain (plus, they're hoping to erode the black support for President Obama). But a black candidate will never fly with the GOP base ... what to do, what to do?

    Folks, this is what happens to a political party when all of its economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES. You end up flailing around like a beached whale, an insane beached whale, at that!

    October 12, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. westward

    Just shows rejection by the people of Mitt Romney. Bad thing about it, Cain hasn't got anything and is unelectable.

    October 12, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. XWngLady

    Please, oh please, give us a GOP candidate who openly stated that he would not have Mu$lims in his Cabinet, that blacks are "brainwashed" and that if you are not rich and you don't have a job (specifically if you are protesting on Wall Street) then it is all YOUR fault!!!...What a clown. Obama will eat corn flakes out of his skull...Cain might as well have put on bl@ck-face and been doing the hambone at that debate last night. "Entertaining" was the word that political analysts used to describe his performance. Cain is an embarrassment.

    October 12, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. Larry L. Clifton

    Herman Cain is the choice of 'We the People'. The fair and balanced media, the RINO establishment GOP, and of course the Dems/dims...can't seem to wrap their pointy little heads around that fact. They think if they 'visualize' the RINOs, especially Romney...and if they fill the airwaves w/all their pandering comments and accolades often enough...'We the People' will fall into their 'spell'...a spell of 'bought, paid for, and crusty old ideas' and sparkling, squeaky clean RINO candidates to do their bidding. NOT gonna' happen. Your emperors have no clothes or spines. 'We the People' will pick our own champion. We are ready for some 'rich, creamy justice'! We are ready for Mr. Herman Cain! We love the 999 plan and the Fairtax that will follow. RINOs clearly don't. We don't like our leaders to CAVE on debt ceiling votes. RINOs do. The differences are clear. If we are going to get our Republic back on track we have to 'over-ride' the RINOs and defeat the Dems/dims in 2012. Every race that we can get a patriot in...instead of an invertebrate RINO...we need to make it happen.
    Vote for Mr. Herman Cain, his 999 plan followed by the FairTax, and personal and economic FREEDOM!

    October 12, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. Paul H

    According to Mr. Cain laziness rate is at 9.1% .

    October 12, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    Perhaps the GOP's moneyed interests will line up behind Cain - why not? He's insulting Af-Ams on a daily basis, but they don't vote Republican, anyway. And I'm sure the reactionary elites who fund this party love that regressive 9-9-9 plan of Cain's: the working poor will pay about 30% more in taxes than under existing legislation; the wealthy will pay about 40% less. What economists call the "marginal propensity to consume" explains this: the poor spend 98% of their income, the wealthy spend 90% of theirs. If you make less than $70K a year, you will pay more under a flat-tax regime, which is what Cain's plan basically is. That's because people wealthier than you have more money to put away and not spend on consumer goods. Look (and hit the calculator) before you leap, and remember: with these guys, wealth redistribution should go one way: up.

    October 12, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  7. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican

    Why is Santorum even bothering to waste our time? Paul and Perry can return to Texas where they will both howl at the moon with the coyotes.

    October 12, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  8. Mike from MN

    Watch out for Mitt and Perry to remind voters that Cain is *BLACK*.

    October 12, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  9. cardog

    Need I say this? Yes I will. This is the state of the Teapublicant Party and it's supporters. We need to stop saying these people are wackos and take them seriously. Mr Cain has shown that he will say anything he believes the right wing base wants to hear. You may notice that Herman Cain brings up race and his so-called knowledge of what Black people think or how they will vote because they are brainwashed. The White base of the Teapublicant
    Herman Cain reminds me of a comedy skit once done by Dave Chappel. Dave protrayed a Black man who did not know he was Black because he was blind. What made the skit halarious is because he wore a hood all his life no one else knew he was Black either.
    This guy Cain cannot seem to get it that he is being played by this Tea Party group and will eventually become yesterday's news.

    October 12, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    His 9-9-9 plan will not be acceptable to the Congress. Better get to work on some other alternative.

    One tax rate for individual tax returns will not fly.

    A consumption tax is both an increased cost for middle and low taxpayers, as well as a dangerously variable funding resource for government.

    Neither of those is going to be acceptable to taxpayers or to Congress.

    October 12, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  11. 10-10-0

    He may not have fared well with the realization that his plan may tax food and medicine.
    Maybe he should consider 10-10-0

    October 12, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  12. normajean

    Before we start getting all excited about Cains plan , dont' y'all think that 999 is not much of an explanation????? The word is now out, {although he hasn't said this publicly|} that his plan is to put an end to Social Security and Medicare!!! In as much as he is a Republican, I will believe this until I hear otherwise. It wouldn't surprise me because this is the bottom line of any Repub candidate anyway!!I PERSONALLY WOULDN'T VOTE FOR A REPUB FOR DOG CATCHER.....Y'ALL MIGHT WANT TO THINK ABOUT WHETHER YOU ARE WILLING TO GIVE UP S.S. AND MEDICAL CARE FOR A REPUB. I'D GIVE THATA LOT OF THOUGHT IF I WERE YOU!!!!!

    October 12, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  13. Rationalintn

    How many Americans think that the 9% sales tax part of Cain's plan means that they will only pay 9%? I've read comments like, "In Illinois, the sales tax is 13%, so we will only pay 9% under Cain's plan."

    Americans do understand that they pay state, and or local sales taxes, and that revenue is used to support STATES and municipalities don't they? Please shake your heads up and down.

    What does Cain plan to do about each individual state's right to collect sales taxes?

    Cain's 9% sales tax is in addition to state and local taxes. Cities and States aren't going to tax people less just because the Feds add a national sales tax. So if your state sales tax is 10%, plan to pay 19% under the 999 plan.

    October 12, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  14. Name frank carroll

    cain is the best one to run.

    October 13, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    He came out with a great sound bite of 9 9 9 on taxes.And every Republican falls for it. According to what I read it cost 200BN a year in lost tax revenue, he does not say whether the 9 is added to existing state sales taxes, (and media don't ask). then he wins a poll and off we go Its cain for leading Presidential hopeful Republican candidate.
    If MR Cain is nominated by the Republican party I will give all my US assets to charity. I have as one individual absolutely no problem with Cain being the Republican ( or Democratic )Nominee for the presidency. However, it will not happen and anyone reading this knows why, and like me dare not say it without it being moderated out.

    October 13, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  16. MadInCt

    9-9-9? Bagga' puh-lease! Try 6-6-6. Or better yet 0-0-0. Zero brains; zero intelligence and zero chance you get to Romney's outhouse let alone the White House! Now Hermie, where ma' pizza at?

    October 13, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  17. TxJim

    Congrats Mr. Motisa (More-Tea-Sir?)... too bad they don't give medals out for winning the pre-election year October poll..

    I doubt you will beat Mitt Romney.. who is on a path with destiny ( to be the second person to lose to a black man one way or the other)

    If the GOP swallows hard and votes in a colored man to represent them you arent beating President Obama either.

    October 13, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  18. GeminiGirl

    Sorry, but Cain's campaign is going to fizzle (his polls are currently high because of the vacuum that exists in that field.) And Cain wants to get rid of Social Security & Medicare – wait till the voters find out! His numbers will go down much like the Crazy Twins, Perry & Bachmann. Newt is a good talker, only because he has had DECADES of doing just that, running for president! Too bad that Huntsmann is not way up there – can't understand it. And in the end Republicans will grumble & will have to "settle" for Mitt, who did a very good job in yesterday's debate. Me? I will vote again for Pres. Obama, but hoping he grows a backbone before 2012.....

    October 13, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  19. Real Patriot

    So this is what the GOTEA has come to huh? Nominate a guy who sold pizzas for a living? A guy who wants to abolish Social Security and Medicare (look at the 999 folks-that's exactly what he is proposing...) A guy who's blatant racism he is proud of? He is a cartoon folks....the Democrats are dancing in the street to the idea of a Herman Cain campaign!

    Bring it on!
    Obama 2012

    October 13, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  20. mk1

    I certainly hope that everyone understands that his 9 9 9 tax plan is the biggest sham on the American people ever perpetrated. This is the biggest tax cut for the wealthy ever plus the biggest tax increase on the poor and middle class ever. Like property taxes, sales taxes hit the poor and middle classes much much harder than the wealthy. It is one of the most regressive taxes there are. As for the 9% income tax, there are no exceptions thus even the poorest of the poor will pay 9% of their meager income, and oh what a hay day for the rich. When will America finally realize that Republicans do not care about anyone except the wealthy and that we are all being played for fools. God help this country should the Republicans win next year because the Republicans sure won't.

    October 13, 2011 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  21. Uhmerican

    He just lies, he just lies , he just lies......KochCain

    October 13, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    Keep on rising to the top Cain – Can't blame this one on the alcohol – I am sure everyone who is behind you is sober and really believe you can beat President Obama! Your "flavor" is even lasting longer than a week – what was it, Hagen Daz Black Walnut!!

    All in all – you will fall! The higher you rise in the polls – the more you will be scrutinized – Like, isn't it true that your 9-9-9 plan also includes totally eliminating ALL ENTITLEMENTS???? Not FIX IT – but GET RID of it altogether. That is truly the only way your 9-9-9 plan will work!!! Just wait until your far-RIGHT senior citizens get a load of that!!!

    MORE TO COME........

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 13, 2011 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  23. ahetch

    He wants to dump social security and medicare on the states. And if the states can't afford the seniors, they should beg the churches to help them out.
    Republicans, are you serious about this guy? Have you no seniors in your families?

    October 13, 2011 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  24. Not fooled

    Cain's 999 plan would not have enough revenue to sustain Programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. He wants to get rid of Social Programs and have the States pay for it. Or he said you can go to your church for help. States are broke. His plan will not work. Seniors beware. Poor and middleclass beware. This is a business man looking out for the rich.

    October 13, 2011 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  25. Irrma in North Carolina

    I cant imagine the people voting for him, that was there Beef against the president cause he was black.

    October 13, 2011 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
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