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Cain and Romney
Sorry, Herman, 9-9-9 isn't the key here
(Scott Audette/Reuters)
Abt-SRBI for Washington Post and ABC News. 9/29-10/2. Leaned Republicans (includes GOP leaning independents). MoE ±6%. (9/1 results):
Mitt Romney: 25 (25)
Herman Cain: 16 (4)
Rick Perry: 16 (29)
Ron Paul: 11 (10)
Michele Bachmann: 7 (8)
Newt Gingrich: 7 (6)
Rick Santorum: 2 (3)
Jon Huntsman: 1 (1)

I know Herman Cain would want me to say 9-9-9, but the real numbers to pay attention to here are 0, -13, and +12. That's how much movement there was in Mitt Romney's numbers (none), how much ground Rick Perry lost (13 points), and how far Herman Cain surged (12 points). While Romney ended up in first, he did so by staying flat; Cain picked up virtually all the ground lost by Perry.

This type of movement reflects what we've seen throughout the campaign: Mitt Romney has a steady base of support, but never seems to be able to break out of the mid-twenties. Whenever a conservative falters, another conservative swoops in to pick up the lost ground—but Romney is never able to directly capitalize.

This isn't necessarily a horrible situation for Romney, but it suggests he can only win the nomination by winning a war of attrition. He's in a good position to do that, thanks to his massive war chest, but he will always be vulnerable to a conservative candidate, and if one comes along who doesn't stumble, or if one of the current conservative candidates manages to climb back into contention, Romney is still extraordinarily weak.

Another sign of this weakness comes from three separate polls released today by PPP. In each of the three polls, Cain leads the field—and along with a resurgent Newt Gingrich, Romney and Perry vie with each other for second place. Tom Jensen:

Is the new Republican frontrunner Herman Cain? Maybe for this week anyway.  PPP polled Republican primary voters in three pretty different states over the weekend- North Carolina, Nebraska, and West Virginia- and found Cain leading the way in each of them as Newt Gingrich surged, Mitt Romney stayed steady, and Rick Perry saw a collapse in his support.

Here are the numbers:

North Carolina: Cain 27, Romney/Gingrich 17, Perry 15, Paul/Bachmann 6, Santorum/Huntsman 2

Nebraska: Cain 30, Gingrich 16, Romney 13, Bachmann/Perry 10, Paul 5, Santorum 4, Huntsman 2

West Virginia: Cain 24, Gingrich 18, Romney 16, Perry 15, Bachmann 8, Paul 6, Santorum 3, Huntsman 1

Of course, these polls were taken before Cain's response to the Rick Perry hunting grounds controversy; given the conservative backlash Cain faced, I wouldn't be surprised if his numbers were to drop. But then again, based on how things have gone so far with this primary, it's probably a mistake to let yourself get surprised about anything.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting that Romney can't (12+ / 0-)

    seem to benefit from anyone's collapse. He stays exactly in the same place. Everyone, but him!

    19, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus, male, Dem, (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:14:27 PM PDT

    •  25% of the Republican Party is Somewhat Rational. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GeeBee, dfe, Mariken, Matt Z, apimomfan2

      Works for me.

      Very rational, I believe the above breakdown would put that at 1% which lines up with Republican party behavior.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:23:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GOP voters know he's a fraud (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They'll vote for him November but will rebuke (to some degree) during the primaries and caucuses. What will be interesting is in when (yes, I think he'll win) he enters the Oval Office, he will have no real base of support because he's so untrustworthy. Kind of like George H W Bush in 1988-89 but worse.

    •  So true, but in the end, (0+ / 0-)

      Romney will benefit from someone's collapse ... his own. That's where former Gov. Flip-Flop is headed, I'm afraid. And if his fellow candidates, in their own desperation to lead, don't use the material, I imagine there are already little Democratic marketing geniuses putting together "he said/then he said" ads into the hopper for safe keepking.

      Funny -- none of us imagined Cain (not that it can't or won't happen) ... I just don't think it will. Bill Clinton was dubbed "the Comeback Kid" but then they didn't start their campaigns publicly much before the primaries (in the old days ....)

      Now THAT's the president I voted for!

      by RevJoe on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:28:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's a somewhat too liberal, a Northerner, and (0+ / 0-)

      even somewhat too Socialistic for the average GOPer.

      He's also a Mormon. GOPers keep close tabs on this sort of stuff.

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:59:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This campaign is going to turn into a fundraising (7+ / 0-)

    contest. Last not-Romney able to fund a campaign gets the nomination.

    Perry, then, or Cain. Bachmann's already failing.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:15:12 PM PDT

    •  It's still a very long shot, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      ...this get them a small step closer to none of them getting the "magic number" of 1211 committed delegates prior to their Convention.

      Waiting for the next poll which indicates that Perry regained some support in the wake of "the Niggerhead Ranch" situation.

      The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

      by Egalitare on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:23:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NNOOOOOOOoooooooo.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vote4Obamain2012, Delilah, Matt Z

    I wanted Perry!

  •  A "groundswell" for Palin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jriches, vidanto, skyounkin, Matt Z

    in 5-4-3....

    I'm EAGER to act to rid the site of anyone that even skirts the line into racism. kos

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:22:13 PM PDT

  •  Polling conducted before Cain's mild "rebuke" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, JC from IA, filby, Matt Z

    @Jed, I'd be willing to bet that next week, Cain's numbers take a dive because he walked back his milquetoast condemnation of Perry. "Insensitive"? No, it was offensive. How dare Cain point out the racism of the racist Republicans. The nerve of him.


    •  I find it interesting (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filby, Matt Z

      They use Cain's race as a "I have black friends" or "we're not racist" card, or they make him put down blacks (he can do that without being called racist.)

      And he DARES to stand up for blacks? Get this guy outta here!

      They use his race for themselves and against him. Typical.

      15 years old and a proud progressive and Phillies phan.

      by vidanto on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:52:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  meaningless polls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    None of these states vote early in the calendar. Romney's momentum will take over after Nevada.

  •  HAnk Williams (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, filby, Matt Z, apimomfan2

    emphasized that "right now" he likes Cain the best. I think a lot of repubs like Cain "right now" as it counters the racism charge and means nothing over a year form the election

    •  I doubt it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mariken, tnproud2b

      I don't think Republicans are answering poll questions solely to make the people think they're not racist...that's a bit of a stretch.

      •  I think Cain may be this election´s Huckabee (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The most likeable guy for many.

        "Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly." Kos

        by Mariken on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:15:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cain is useful right now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But despite their protestations to the contrary, the GOP is nowhere near ready for a black candidate to head their ticket.  They might tolerate a black male VP candidate, but even that is a stretch.

          Incidently, I don't think they are ready for a woman either, judging by how they turned on Palin and abandoned Bachman as soon as they had Perry to be the anti-Romney.  As a VP, they'd probably take a black man over a white woman.

          Actually, I think they would prefer two white guys, but they might need Marco Rubio (who's white enough) on the ticket to innoculate themselves against racism and go after a greater percentage of the latino vote in swing states.

          •  I partly agree (0+ / 0-)

            but neither Cain, Palin or Bachmann are/were qualified for the position they seek/ed.

            Had Palin been competent, she probably would have been an asset to McCain`s campaign. And Colin Powell in his time might have had a better chance than Cain has now.

            "Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly." Kos

            by Mariken on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 01:37:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  In The History Of Awesome, Cain As The GOP Nominee (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vidanto, jsamuel, Delilah, filby, Matt Z

    Would be pretty close to the top.

    The entertainment value alone of exploding GOP heads....

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: []

    by Beetwasher on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:35:44 PM PDT

  •  Seems like just another sign of how the Republican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vidanto, SteelerGrrl

    voters regard their slate of candidates.  They are still looking for their dream date, and if a new one doesn't announce, they have to rely on second looks at current ones.

    I sure hope someone brings up Aquila Energy at one of these Republican debates someday.

  •  It seems like this whole thing is a joke. People (5+ / 0-)

    are actually considering voting for these people? Very strange.

  •  Romney has been pretty lucky so far (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    GOP voters really dont seem to like him, but no acceptable(Christie, Daniels, Huckabee, a coherent Rick Perry) has emerged. There is still a chance we could see that last one. A strong debate performance and outraising Romney could boost Perry back into the lead, but those are big question marks right now, particularly the debate performance.

  •  None of the above (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NM Ray, Zack from the SFV

    seems to be the real candidate of choice.

    No one who lives is sufficiently pure for the loonies.  If they could, they'd probably nominate a computer generated cartoon character.

  •  little know trivia (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vidanto, filby, Mariken, Matt Z

    herman cain is dyslexic.

    smash the chair, bust the needle !

    by stolen water on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:45:43 PM PDT

  •  Which raises the question . . . (0+ / 0-)

    If Cain is the GOP nominee, and Obama is the Democratic nominee . . . for whom will Jim Crow Republicans throughout the South vote for?

    Two -- count 'em -- two of my Jim Crow Republican relatives in Mississippi told me back in 2008 that they would "never vote for a woman or a n***."

    What are they gonna do if their choice is between two . . . uh, two . . . well, you know . . .

  •  I think Romney has a good shot (4+ / 0-)

    The flavors of the month can never last very long. And in this long primary process, staying power is a MUST. Romney may not get a lot of support, but he's consistent, which is just what he needs.

    15 years old and a proud progressive and Phillies phan.

    by vidanto on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:50:29 PM PDT

    •  He's a better looking John Kerry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      running against a weak and vulnerable incumbant, on a playing field that is much friendlier to his party than the one on which Kerry just barely lost to GWB.

      Be afraid of Romney.  The GOP will rally around him just like Hillary voters rallied around Obama to end the Bush era.  A lot of white working class Hillary Dems held their noses and voted for Obama despite not really liking him.  

      Romney will be VERY well funded, careful, and strategically sound during the campaign, and would likely win the debates against Obama (we all know Obama is not that good on his feet, without a telepromter, and Romney has proven to be pretty good).  If Obama can't make the flip-flop thing stick and matter to people, I'm not really sure what else he can run on against Romney.  Hell, he basically adopted the Romney plan on HCR, and Romney is positioning himself as the defender of social security, which is more than Obama can say.

      Also, Romney REALLY wants to be president.  He has been running as long as Obama has.  He's in this to the bitter end, whatever it takes.  That kind of passion is worth something, and will eventually be appreciated by the GOP base.

  •  Given the reality of today's GOP... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zed, Vote4Obamain2012, Matt Z, apimomfan2

    ...I'd be pretty comfortable in third, if I'm Perry, behind a Mormon and a black guy. They just can't sweep that much bigotry under the rug.

    -5.38 -4.72 T. Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

    by trevzb on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:51:04 PM PDT

  •  maybe they don't know he is black (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trevzb, stolen water, apimomfan2
  •  Need To Do A Focus Group (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Of the people who have gone from Trump to Bachmann to Perry to Cain and were dissapointed today that Christie didn't run. Bizzaro Diogenes. Searching for someone who can express the twisted beliefs of the teabaggers without sounding twisted. That person doesn't exist.

  •  Cain will never be the GOP nominee.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, Matt Z

    He's getting ink now because the gop troglodyte primary voters are thinking:  "Yeah!  We got a black guy too!"

    "When and if fascism comes to will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

    by demongo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:55:49 PM PDT

    •  Agree about the nominee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but to think that Republican voters are glomming onto Cain because they think the conservative faithful will vote for any black guy with a smile and a promise not to raise taxes is a tad bit cynical.

      Corporations want Christie, but they'll take Romney if they have to.

      The nomination will go to the guy that promises the most to corporate America. To the RNC, nothing else matters.

      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy

      by Patriot4peace on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:01:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  we could always "help" (0+ / 0-)
  •  I think Cain's being confused with *McCain*.... (6+ / 0-)

    "Yeah!  That 'Cain guy shoulda won last time!"

    "When and if fascism comes to will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

    by demongo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:57:26 PM PDT

  •  Cain will not be around for long... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I live in an area that used to be "treated" to his daily radio show.  He's said enough crazy/offensive/loopy stuff over the years that it would take any opposition research mere hours to find something to embarrass him at the national level.

    If Romney's camp actually feels threatened by Cain, they will take care of it.

  •  Now I'm getting nervous (0+ / 0-)

    If these numbers are accurate, it may mean the wingers in the race will destroy themselves.

    Only increases Romney's "electability" argument--which is bad news for us, since he's the only Repub in the field who can possibly beat Obama.

  •  Christie, Daniels, Huckabee, and others are not (0+ / 0-)

    getting into the race because none of them has a clue about what to do with our domestic problems or our looming foreign policy problems.  They would rather let Obama win and take the fall for the roughest eight years in modern history for the US, and then they'll all clamor for a slot in 2012.  But, of course, it will be Jeb's turn then and the best they could hope for is VP.

    •  That's a pretty good point. I can't imagine (0+ / 0-)

      wanting to be President under the current conditions.

      Though I think it's gonna be Rubio.

      Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

      by tigercourse on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:18:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I think things are going to be great (0+ / 0-)

        at the end of the next president's term (or Obama's second term).  I think the big money is just itching to get on with the next bubble.  They are just sitting on their hands not wanting to help Obama get re-elected so they can keep more of the money they make off of it.  

        I can see good growth, a booming market, if perhaps higher "structural" unemployment than we're used to:  The New Normal.  I just read an article in Money Magazine that said the internet stock bubble is inflating again.  Facebook and several other similar stocks are inflated beyond any rational value.  We've seen how that movie ends, but while it's going on, it's pretty entertaining.

  •  Are they picking Cain or McCain? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paintitblue, Knarfc

    I wonder how many of these morans think they're picking John McCain in the poll...

    2010: An Unforced Error Odyssey

    by Minerva on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:06:15 PM PDT

  •  No, teh Christie will re-decide again. (0+ / 0-)

    * puts on wingnut denial hat * /jk

    Number 1 thing I do not want to hear: "Are you satisfied" (uttered by Chuck Todd).

    by AZphilosopher on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:28:48 PM PDT

  •  "The Night They Drove Chris Christie Down" (0+ / 0-)

    Herman Cain is my name and I rode the gravy train
    'Til Michele Bachmann came and blew me off the tracks again.
    Now I don't mind hawkin' food
    And I don't care if my tax plan's good
    Just tax 'em at 9 and leave the rest
    And today I see that they took the very best

    The night they drove Chris Christie down
    Now I got clear sailing
    The night they drove Chris Christie down
    And all the pundits wailing
    They said: "Nah, nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, nah nah, nah nah nah"

    Now like Mitt Romney before me I'm a wealthy man
    And like Rick Perry be-foooore me I took a Rebel stand
    Now I'm at 16, second place
    There's a chance that I could win this race
    Just stay alive and leave 'em dead
    But I never should have spoken "n***erhead"

    Mitt Romney's gonna take me down
    'Cause he wants no rival
    Mitt Romney's gonna take me down
    There is no survival
    How might I drive Mitt Romney down
    He inspires passions
    How might I drive Mitt Romney down
    In character assassins

    Nah, nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, nah nah, nah nah nah

    In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

    by Seneca Doane on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:32:12 PM PDT

  •  anybody know if it was the perry camp (0+ / 0-)

    who leaked the story about the rock to wpost?

    smash the chair, bust the needle !

    by stolen water on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:52:12 PM PDT

  •  Hey Newt's got newmentum! (0+ / 0-)

    He's just startin' his run like Silky Sullivan.

    And closing fast in deep stretch is Newt Gingrich, from outta the clouds!......Newt seizes the lead with a half-furlong to go........and uhhhhhh.....what?  ........

    Newt Gingrich: 7 (6)

    Under Ike we had 91% marginal tax rates and nobody called him as Socialist. - Robert Reich

    by lastman on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:00:30 PM PDT

  •  Cain 2012 = Jesse Jackson 1988? (0+ / 0-)

    Jesse Jackson caused a stir in 1988 when he did well (mid-teens) in early polling and a few primaries. But what nobody in the media would acknowledge is that, as white candidates began to drop out of the field, their voters would shift to other white candidates--not to Jackson.

    Cain has more GOP-conventional qualifications, and certainly a black candidate is just a less radical notion in 2012 than 1988, for a Great Big Obvious Reason. But even so, I predict that as other candidates drop out of the GOP Parade of Loonies, Cain will benefit very little. I think his current support is close to his ceiling.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:24:55 PM PDT

  •  Why are we (ABC) conducting a national (0+ / 0-)

    poll for a primary which includes GOP leaning independents? Unless the independents are allowed to vote in the primaries?

    This seems like a biased and misleading poll which will not track an actual GOP primary vote.

    Are the polls for the three states including GOP leaning independents also? I can't tell. In any case in two of these three states Cain is in the lead but the second place is a statistical tie between Romney, Perry, and Gingrich...Perry is farther back in Nebraska.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:57:29 PM PDT

    •  the Nebraska poll results (0+ / 0-)

      make sense to a Nebraskan as follows:  
      1. Cain lived in Omaha a decade ago while CEO of Godfather's Pizza (pizza chain founded in Nebraska.)  He is a well-known entity as a successful businessman.  
      2.  Football season reminds Nebraskans how much they dislike all things Texas.

  •  What I like is that Santorum (ick!) (0+ / 0-)

    is pretty well going nowhere.  Dead in the water.

  •  Cain was by far the best in the debates (0+ / 0-)

    Well, if you watched the debates, Cain was easily the best-spoken and had the best answers so its not surprising. Romney could never stand his ground on an issue, Perry pretty much gave retarded answers, Bachmann didn't know what she was talking about and Ron Paul, while having decent answers, sounded too much like to just wanted to dissolve the federal government to seriously have a chance. Cain actually had some good answers to those questions.

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