published Friday, October 14th, 2011

Cain surges in uncertain GOP field

The Republican race to pick a nominee who will challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 election is, to put it mildly, a work in progress. Several prominent Republicans have gained the spotlight at different times in recent months.

• Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been consistently at or near the top of the GOP heap. He is regarded as fairly fiscally conservative, and he has given generally strong performances in the Republican debates thus far.

• Texas Gov. Rick Perry leaped to the fore of the Republican candidates when he entered the race, apparently because he energized GOP voters who are not certain that Romney is solidly conservative on some issues. But Perry has faded in the polls, and his debate appearances have not given voters confidence that he can articulate his views well enough. Some also have concerns that Perry would be soft on illegal immigration.

• U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota gained attention when she won the Iowa straw poll, and she is solidly conservative. But she has not satisfied some Americans that she has the leadership qualities that are vitally important for anyone who would be our nation's commander in chief. As a result, she has struggled to break out of single digits in opinion surveys.

• Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich of Georgia have made some good points in the debates, but for a variety of reasons, they and the next tier of GOP candidates just haven't sparked a lot of interest among potential voters.

That brings us to another candidate who seems -- at least for now -- to be gaining popularity with the American people: Georgia businessman Herman Cain.

Cain is plainspoken and at times even folksy in the presidential debates, and he holds reliably conservative positions on most issues.

Though it took awhile for his campaign to take off, he has risen in recent days to become a serious challenger.

In a Rasmussen Reports poll pitting Cain head to head against President Obama, Cain was within 3 percentage points of the president among likely voters. He has also gained fast on the presumed GOP front-runner, Romney, in opinion surveys -- tying Romney in a recent CBS News poll and actually pulling ahead of him in a later Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll.

Meanwhile, nearly three-fifths of Republican voters surveyed said they like Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan. The plan would largely do away with the absurdly complicated federal tax code and replace it with a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent corporate tax and a 9 percent national sales tax. It would close a great many loopholes and make the tax code vastly more transparent.

One legitimate concern about Cain's 9-9-9 plan is that the national sales tax it would create would open a new revenue stream for the federal government. It's highly debatable whether that 9 percent sales tax would "stay" at 9 percent.

The GOP field is still clearly in flux. But that likely won't last long. Some candidates soon will pull out, and a clear front-runner will probably emerge.

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nucanuck said...

Cain is going exactly nowhere. He gives the GOP a little racial credibility, but not much more. He will soon be a memory.

October 14, 2011 at 12:35 a.m.
EaTn said...

Cain is nothing but a reflection of the GOP discontent in the lineup of contenders but has little to offer a broad range of voters. By default Romney will probably inherit the nomination but will not be strongly supported by the far-right who will pass up a golden chance to form a third party of their dreams.

October 14, 2011 at 4:53 a.m.

And the Democratic Party has "racial credibility"? What a joke. If anything, the Democratic Party feels they're entitled to the "black vote". Now they're developing the same attitude toward the"hispanic vote".

Nucanuck, your post is very typical of the ownership attitude the Democrat Party has toward black Americans. How dare Herman Cain be a Republican! He must be an Uncle Tom or a prop. I find that very, very offensive.

Herman Cain is a self-made man, not a dependent minded individual like many of those who fall for the Democrat Party pitch.

EaTn, your analysis is way off, sorry! Way off! You're parroting the comments I hear all the time by Democrat leaning news outlets. Dismissing Cain is mistake.

October 14, 2011 at 8:07 a.m.
lumpy said...

I find it funny that having a variety of candidates and uncertainty as to which one will will be the nominee, during a campaign season, is viewed by many as a sign that they're all weak.

It's called competition.

Any one of them is superior to what we have now in the White House, which is pretty much a total disaster. Obama will lose, it's just matter to which one.

October 14, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.
rolando said...

Rasmussen gives a generic Republican a six point lead over The Obama. That's any Republican.

October 14, 2011 at 8:49 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Only an economic turn-around could save Obama from a one term presidency and that seems highly unlikly. The Republican primary is almost the general election in 2012.

The Senate, too, could easily switch back to the GOP.

With the wind at their backs, Republicans will have unfettered control of government at a time of economic and social turmoil. If they implement tax cuts,remove environmental regulation, and strip away social programs as they seem to want to do, we will have a country like no other in the developed world.

Could the amazing 200 year success of the US end up, through self-emolation, in the dump heap of history? Stay tuned.

October 14, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
hambone said...

Cain will fade away as faster than Bachmann or Perry once the voter realizes the truth of his 999 Plan.

It leaves the future of Social security and medicare up to the states, churches and charity!

It does nothing but complete the wealth transfer that has been going on for 30 years!

October 14, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
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