Poll: Cain Even With Romney on Economy

Monday, 10 Oct 2011 03:48 PM


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Businessman Herman Cain is almost even with Mitt Romney in his appeal as an economic leader to Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

While Romney barely leads on the economy, he maintains his overall advantage as the candidate Republican supporters most want to see as the nominee, at 24 percent with Cain in second place at 16 percent on the eve of a Bloomberg-Washington Post Republican presidential debate that will focus on economic issues, according to a national poll by the two news organizations.

The poll results underscore the public’s unsettled mood on the economy. More than half of all Americans think another financial crisis is likely within the next several years. Much of the nation doubts the winner of the presidential race will affect the economic situation or their personal finances, and those who do are about evenly split on who would do better.

“These numbers reflect an unhappy choice for the nation: They do not like what they have now and they do not have confidence that a different leader would deliver better results,” says J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll.

Editor's Note: Get Herman Cain’s New Book, Free Offer — Click Here Now

Cain has responded with a simple “9-9-9” plan that would replace the current tax structure with 9 percent corporate and individual taxes and a 9 percent national sales tax. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the founder of Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital LLC, has stressed his business background and a 59-point economic program.

Asked which candidate would do the most to improve the economy, 22 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said Romney, 20 percent Cain, a former chief executive officer of Godfather’s Pizza, and 12 percent Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Wary About Bachmann

Party supporters expressed the greatest reservations about the economic credentials of U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Fourteen percent said she would do the most damage to the economy, followed by 11 percent who named Representative Ron Paul of Texas and 9 percent Perry.

In overall popularity among party supporters, Perry follows Romney and Cain with 13 percent backing in a contest in which 3 out of 10 Republican and Republican=leaning independents saying they are either undecided or want other choices.

Rounding out the field, 6 percent of the party’s supporters back Paul, 4 percent Bachmann, 3 percent former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 1 percent former Senator Rick Santorum and less than 1 percent former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.

Romney Advantage

Among all Americans, Romney enjoys a stronger advantage on the economy: 17 percent rate him as the Republican candidate most likely to improve the economy, 10 percent say Cain and 7 percent each answer Perry or Paul. Among the public 46 percent don’t know or say none of them.

Bachmann has the greatest vulnerability on the economy: 15 percent of Americans think she would do the most damage, followed by 12 percent who say Perry and 7 percent Paul. Only 5 percent answer Romney and 2 percent Cain. Forty-three percent say they don’t know or none of them.

The Republican candidate with the most appeal to the country as a whole is Romney, with 17 percent of all Americans saying they preferred to see him as the Republican nominee. He was followed by Cain and Perry, tied at 8 percent, Paul at 7 percent, Bachmann at 6 percent, Gingrich at 3 percent, Huntsman at 2 percent and Santorum at 1 percent. Forty-three percent say they don’t know or none of them.

No Party Advantage

Neither political party has yet persuaded the country of its economic case.

More than half of Americans either believe the current economic situation would be the same with a Republican in the White House instead of President Barack Obama or say they don’t know which party would do a better job. The rest are about evenly divided, with 23 percent saying a Republican president would manage the economy better versus 25 percent who say a Republican president would be worse.

Among political independents, 55 percent said it makes no difference and 7 percent said they didn’t know the answer.

A similar breakdown shows when Americans are asked how the result of the 2012 presidential election will affect their personal financial situation. Forty-nine percent say they don’t know or don’t believe the president will make a difference. Twenty-four percent say Obama’s re-election would be better, and the same portion say the election of a Republican would do more for their own finances.

New Crisis Seen

The portion of the country that believes a financial crisis is likely within the next several years has risen to 52 percent from 42 percent in March 2010, when the question was last asked in a Bloomberg National Poll.

The telephone survey of 1,000 Americans was conducted Oct. 6-9. The margin of error for overall numbers is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points and for Republicans and Republican-leaning independents is plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Editor's Note: Get Herman Cain’s New Book, Free Offer — Click Here Now

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