Poll: Cain takes top position, Perry falls to fifth
October 25th, 2011
12:22 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Cain takes top position, Perry falls to fifth

(CNN) – Businessman and conservative radio talk show host Herman Cain came out on top in a CBS/New York Times poll measuring support among likely Republican primary voters that was released Tuesday.

In the first poll since CNN's Western Republican debate, Cain is ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by four percentage points, within the sampling error for the survey.

One quarter of GOP primary voters support Cain, who has surged in national polls recently due in part, perhaps, to his easy-to-understand "9-9-9" economic plan and consistent debate performances. Romney received 21% support.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich netted 10% followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul at eight percent.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has fallen to fifth place after early stumbles in candidate debates. He's also been hemmed in with stinging critiques from rivals on his positions regarding immigration and his support for a mandatory HPV vaccine.

Perry received 6% support in the poll, half the amount he received in early October.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has also fallen out of favor it seems, after winning the critical Iowa straw poll in August. With two percent support, the congresswoman has struggled to stay relevant as public bickering between former and current staffers exploded in New Hampshire.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman tied at one percent.

But with 14% of likely Republican primary-goers undecided and roughly four out of five saying it is too early to say for sure who they back for the nomination, a chunk of potential supporters is still in play.

The poll was conducted among 1,650 adults by telephone including 455 voters who said they plan to vote in a Republican primary. The overall sampling error for the survey is plus or minus two percentage points. The sampling error for the subgroup of likely Republican primary voters is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Mitt Romney • Polls
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. FactCheck

    Love the new Rick Perry tax plan: increase taxes on the poor to 20% and give all kinds of tax breaks to the rich. Where have I heard this song before?

    October 25, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Debbie

    No on 999 or 909. I don't want to see me paying 19% taxes.

    October 25, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Clwyd

    Anyone who understand 9-9-9 or 9-0-9, really 666, would do well to check the banking and finances as those at the middle or bottom will be losing big time while the top gets 6 digit relief and bankrolls back! This is called the dumbing down of America and American voters! How stupid have we become?

    October 25, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Bill

    Poor Michelle Bachman. When she won the Iowa straw poll her and that goofball husband of hers were doing victory laps as if she had just gotten the nomination. Now, at 2%, the mismanaged and ill-conceived campaign is in its final days. Too rich.

    October 25, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Gingrich and Paul both seem to know that if and when Cain drops in the polls, there will be a void for someone new to become the next anti-Romney. Right now it looks like Cain train is trying to pull out from the station. Cain will be down there with Bachman and Perry by the time the next debate rolls around.

    And so that leaves Gingrich and Paul. I don't know what happened to Santorum and Huntsman. Maybe Republicans want to look at known quantities before they consider the relatively unknown names of Santorum and Huntsman. Neither Gingrich or Paul will pass the sniff test, though. Time will tell if there is enough time before primary season for Santorum and Huntsman to get their turn at being judged worthy enough to be flavor of the week.

    October 25, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Romney looks as if he is "dazed".

    Cain doesn't stand a chance in hades so quit trying to pretend he does. In the end Perry will be the nominee.

    October 25, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Larry L

    I find it interesting that the only economic plans sent forward by any Republicans favor the rich and the only energy plans are about drilling for oil and gas. Is Cain's plan popular only because conservatives are too simple to understand something progressive? Do they want to hammer the middle class and the poor? How would that help America?

    Nobody has a real plan for Social Security, immigration reform, or Medicare. Nobody offers any explanations about the last Republican Administration's spending, economic failures, environmental destruction, educational failures, or dishonesty in starting the Iraq War. I'd like them to explain why the Republicans in the Senate filibustered their own ideas. Before I'd vote for a Republican I'd want answers to those questions rather than a stream of childish attacks on each other and President Obama.

    October 25, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    I saw a news report last night regarding Cain that was very interesting. He has no boots on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Florida. By that I mean, campaign people – zilch, nothing, nada. And apparently he is associated with and funded by Americans for Prosperity. Who is that, you ask? That's the astroturf tea party backers, funded by the Koch brothers. Is Cain the Koch brothers' front man? Not only do they have ALEC writing the laws that favor them regarding regulations and taxes, but now they're running their own presidential candidate. Interesting, no? And how in the heck have we gotten to a place where two billionaire brothers have been given so much power?

    October 25, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    Oh, and as I'm typing this, there's an ad to my right for "clean coal." What an oxymoron. Maybe it's time to wrestle back what's left of our democracy from the corporations and powerful rich elite, no?

    October 25, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. pig in a poke

    "relatively unknown names of Santorum "
    Where do you really live Rudy ?
    1995 to 2007 – US Senator.

    October 25, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Telchristina

    Republicans, Herman Cain is your puff of smoke. It will be gone with the wind with no trace of it.

    October 25, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. diridi

    Rick Perry is a total idiot....o.k, Not even fifth this idiot deserves....look at Texas with all illegals, with minimum wage, no health care coverage....filth...garbage.

    October 25, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Cain is a joke as is the rest of the GOP field.

    October 25, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Jim

    I don't know Herman Cain isn't qualified to be president, he has no political experience whatsoever. I would vote for Obama over Cain. Romney isn't the most ideal but is the most qualified for sure, but I think he out of the whole lot would be most likely to turn around the economy.

    October 25, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    This poll had to be taken before Perry introduced his ponzi scheme of a flat tax, and his birther comments excited the base. Now we will see him overtake Newt, and who knows, he might make it to the teens in approval.

    October 25, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Derek

    Other sources that i read said this was a TEA PARTY ONLY POLL. I currently do not have the time, but if someone wants look it up and send something to CNN as this is reported wrong

    October 25, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. DaveinSC

    I'm still waiting for the tea party freshman Republicans from last fall to introduce a jobs plan. Where are the jobs plan that they all ran on?

    October 25, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Herb has gotten a lot of mileage out of his close association with the Kochs. Teabaggers will always do what the Kochs tell them to do.

    October 25, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Gotta admit to being somewhat suprised. Cain has no chance of winning the general and I had thought...or perhaps maybe just hoped...that the GOP wasn't so out there that they wouold accept even the level of ridiculousness tha Cain represents. Even Pat Robertson is telling them to at least hide the extremism a little better at this point. Oh well...it's their problem unless the public decides to make it everyone's problem by electing one of these corporate plutocrat extremists.

    October 25, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. pedro A.

    Only if you support the illegal aliens invasion, would you support Gov. Perry. What a horrible human being this guy is, I can't believe that Texans have elected him three times, i guess it's based on his support of the Mexicans in Texas.

    October 25, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Doug

    Cain is the one who most gives specifics for answers. I don't prefer some of his answers but he's not trying to generalize his answers. You only generalize when you are worried a large portion of the voters won't like so much your specifics. So you keep them in a cloud and hope they fall for it.

    October 25, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Lisa

    I cannot understand people who will vote against their own best interest. I, also, cannot understand people who will vote against the best interest of the United States. How can these people not see that the Republicans are ruled/owned by the Koch Brothers. Not that the Democrats are that much better, but at least they seem to want to help out the poor and the middle class.

    Republicans: Trickle down economics does not work.

    October 25, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. doug

    Cain has the klan party going crazy, how awesome.

    He is a black man who came from nothing and got to where he is on his own hard work and determination. There is not a person in the world the Democrat hates more than this!

    October 25, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Joey

    I just can,t stop "Laughing to comment??? I,m loving the "Sideshow", but my Liver hurts from "Belly Laughing"

    October 25, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. doug

    Cain made his own money, Obama just stole his from the American tax payer.

    October 25, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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