Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may be raking in the big campaign dollars but it is political outsider Herman Cain
's 9-9-9 plan that is the number to beat, as reported in The Christian Science Monitor.
Though lagging behind Perry and Romney in dollars raised, Cain's campaign reported he raked in $2.8 million in the third quarter.
Mark Trumbull writes in the Monitor that Cain has been able to advance in the polls because his 9-9-9 plan for tax reform is an idea that voters can latch onto.
Trumbull says that plan "is strong enough that he's putting serious pressure" on Romney and Perry.
A poll this past week showed Cain as the number one choice of 27 percent of likely Republican voters. The NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll showed Romney with 23 percent and Perry following in third at 16 percent.
Time after time in Tuesday's GOP presidential debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire Cain kept repeating the magic number 9-9-9 and that is resonating across the country.
Cain's plan does away with the existing tax code and puts in place a 9 percent tax on personal income, 9 percent tax on business income and a 9 percent federal sales tax.
Trumbull writes that some political analysts believe his plan "reflects brilliant marketing instincts by Cain."
Those instincts were honed in a food industry career which included his time with Coca-Cola and his serving as CEO of Godfather's Pizza.
"The name conveys simplicity and tax rates that are all in the single digits - a contrast with the current code," writes Trumbull.
Trumbull concludes that whether conservative voters are on board with the details of his reform plan or not, "its boldness has served to energize public debate about radical tax code reforms.
Cain's aides have said his fundraising has been rising recently, mirroring his rise in the polls but his movement in the polls came mostly after the candidates closed their record books on the third quarter, reports USA Today.
USA Today also points out that over 57 percent of donations to the Cain campaign came from individuals who gave $200 or less. By comparison, about 4 percent of Perry's campaign contributions came from people who donated small amounts.
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