Cain Beats Romney as GOP Frontrunner for Primary

Shows how quick Republicans are to ‘step up’ from Romney. Shows there’s a lot more than racism working against President Obama.

And shows translating Tea Party rhetoric into logically consistent policy proposals is highly problematic at best.

With Cain leading, his 999 proposal is suddenly getting more serious media attention, and getting ripped to shreds.

Leaves the Republicans, and the nation, without any headline proposals to debate, Romney holding on as the default candidate, and President Obama holding on to a narrow lead.

Cain Beats Romney as GOP Frontrunner for Primary

By John Harwood

October 12 (CNBC) — Business executive Herman Cain has jumped to the top of the volatile Republican presidential race in a campaign season dominated by economic anxiety.

Among Republican primary voters, Cain leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 27 percent to 23 percent, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who led the August NBC/WSJ survey with 38 percent supported, plummeted to third place with 16 percent. He was followed by Rep. Ron Paul with 11 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 8 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann with 5 percent, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman with 3 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum with 1 percent.

Cain’s rapid rise, from 5 percent in the previous poll, underscores the volatility of the 2012 GOP nomination contest. Like the rank-and-file’s earlier flirtations with Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann and Perry, this one, too, may not last.

Bill McInturff, the Republican pollster who conducts the Journal/NBC survey with his Democratic counterpart Peter Hart, cautioned that this latest “speculative bubble” reflects the Republican base sifting a presidential field without a dominant front-runner. Romney holds a lead in fund-raising and in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, but has so far been unable to capture the heart of his party.

“He’s the remainder-man candidate for the Republicans,” Hart said. “Acceptable, but not their first choice.”

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38 Responses to Cain Beats Romney as GOP Frontrunner for Primary

  1. RODNEY says:

    WE HAD A GODFATHERS PIZZA IN TOWN FOR LESS THAN A YEAR. IT WAS PROBABLEY ONE OF THE WORST PIZZA OPERATIONS I HAVE EVER SEEN. THEY HAD NO PROBLEMS SELLING YOU FOOD THAT HAD BEEN THERE A VERY LONG TIME WHEN IT WASN’T VERY GOOD IN THE FIRST PLACE. I WOULD NOT BE ADVERTISING RAN THAT COMPANY AS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT.

    Reply

    ESM Reply:

    @RODNEY,

    THEY HAD NO PROBLEMS SELLING YOU FOOD THAT HAD BEEN THERE A VERY LONG TIME WHEN IT WASN’T VERY GOOD IN THE FIRST PLACE.”

    I GUESS THEY’RE EITHER REALLY GOOD SALESMEN, OR YOU’RE A SUCKER.

    Reply

  2. GLH says:

    I am a white ex-Southern Baptist and I know them well. I know they won’t vote for a black man and they won’t vote for a Mormon, and the ones I know would NEVER vote for a Democrat,especiall a black one. I love the conundrum this would put those people into. Of course I must admit that having voted for Obumer once I will never vote for him again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    Reply

  3. Dimm says:

    “In Herman Cain’s America, the tax code would be very, very simple: The corporate income tax rate would be 9 percent, the personal income tax rate would be 9 percent and the national sales tax rate would be 9 percent.

    But there’s already a 999 plan out there, in a land called SimCity.

    Long before Cain was running for president and getting attention for his 999 plan, the residents of SimCity 4 — which was released in 2003 — were living under a system where the default tax rate was 9 percent for commercial taxes, 9 percent for industrial taxes and 9 percent for residential taxes.”

    Amanda Terkel Huffington Post

    Reply

  4. Broll The American says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “business men” say they’d like so see a “real business man” like Romney or Cain in the White House for once. Problem is businesses are run for profits. They try to minimize loss. The Federal Government is not a business and must be lead with the intent to “provide for the common good.” I suppose a “real business man” is better than a typical politician, however I feel the line between the two is fuzzy.

    Reply

    ESM Reply:

    @Broll The American,

    I think it’s less about running the government like a business (it shouldn’t be in the profit-making sense, but it should be in terms of trying to stop doing things that aren’t working).

    It’s more about having seen the other side of the story when government enacts various taxes and regulations. Most politicans don’t really have a clue about how various laws will impact the business community and hence the economy. That’s why they have to rely on lobbyists to tell them, and they don’t usually get the truth from those guys.

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Broll The American,

    The real agenda behind running government like a business is that a business is run for profit that goes to ownership. The agenda is to run the country in the interest of the ownership class, pure and simple.

    For example, Cain’s 9-9-9 is a version of the Steve Forbes flat tax plan, which has been notorious for unabashedly removing the tax burden from the ownership class and top management, and transferring the bulk of the burden to wage and salaried workers. Nothing new to see here.

    Reply

    Dan Kervick Reply:

    @Tom Hickey,

    Yep, running the government like a business for these guys means running all of America like a business, and that means that when American are too expensive to carry, and aren’t making any money for the owners, they should just be fired.

    That’s what 2011 America has done. It has fired its own citizens. Tens of millions of people have been jettisoned from the workforce, and the bosses seem to think it is perfectly fine if that remains a permanent arrangement.

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Dan Kervick,

    Right. With the global marketplace now open and global labor fungible, US workers are increasingly expendable.

  5. Danny says:

    Would it not be accurate to say that both Cain AND Obama have benefitted politically in part because of their race? Cain had a fantastic career in the business world, but is not some titan of industry, nor is his professional record that distinguished from any number of white businessmen and women with a similar lack of electoral experience.

    I don’t think “racism” today is motivated purely by skin color as it once was. I think post-integration its evolved to be more about culture: fashion, language, music, politics, ect. There’s no doubt there are a lot of white people who despise black culture without necessarily despising black people, and vice versa. White voters have shown they will vote for a black Republican who espouses their values over a white Democrat and black voters have shown they will vote for a white Democrat who espouses their values over a black Republican.

    Reply

    ESM Reply:

    @Danny,

    “Cain had a fantastic career in the business world, but is not some titan of industry, nor is his professional record that distinguished from any number of white businessmen and women with a similar lack of electoral experience.”

    I haven’t seen any evidence that Cain’s race has benefited him. Sure, he’s no Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, but then again those guys aren’t interested in running for president, are they? In fact, is there any businessman running besides Mitt Romney? And Romney seems like just another politican these days, since he has been running continuously for 6 years.

    Cain’s appeal is that he is plainspoken, yet with a very engaging speaking voice. He seems very likable too, with a good sense of humor.

    Personally, I really like the fact that Cain has degrees in math and computer science. There aren’t too many presidential candidates with that kind of scientific background. Obama, by the way, once boasted that he never even took calculus.

    Reply

    Adam2 Reply:

    @ESM, He has a degree in math but cannot comprehend the 7 Deadly Frauds. I think he probably forgot most of that math. He is like most conservatives, a conservative first in politics. Never getting out of their comfort zone.

    Reply

    Adam2 Reply:

    @Adam2, I forgot. His math degree does him no good if he can’t do basic arithmetic. He is calling for ANWR drilling for energy independence. Drill drill drill does not compute. King Hubbert already did the math and Cain either can’t comprehend it, is ignorant of it (he has a math degree, this is not an excuse), or is a liar.

    Matt Franko Reply:

    @Adam2, I didn’t know that he has disclosed that he has read the 7DIF?

    If he has those degrees, there is for sure a possibility he could “see” MMT. Perhaps to your point, all he needs in addition to those studies is some objectivity… it’s very rare to find people who have both the mathematical maturity and the objectivity to ‘see’ MMT…. I think there are perhaps less than 1,000 people out of 7,000,000,000 globally who can truly ‘see’ MMT at this point…Resp,

    ESM Reply:

    @Adam2,

    “… or is a liar.”

    Of course he’s a liar. He is running for president after all. It’s practically a job requirement.

    Danny Reply:

    @ESM,

    “Cain’s appeal is that he is plainspoken, yet with a very engaging speaking voice. He seems very likable too, with a good sense of humor.”

    if you crossed out Cain’s name and wrote in Obama’s that sentence would sound a lot like the rationale a lot of people had for voting for Barack ca. 2008!

    Reply

    ESM Reply:

    @Danny,

    Obama may have had some of the other qualities, but he sure as hell wasn’t plainspoken.

    He seemed “likable enough”, just like Hilary. I never thought he had much of a sense of humor though.

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Danny,

    The racist is not at the top but at the bottom. The US has been unsuccessful in integrating its Native American population since the inception of the country and the African former slaves since the Civil War. This is troubling sociologically since the US has been largely successful in integrating various immigrant waves periodically. It is also troubling socially, politically and economically, since it gives rise to a ghetto class that more or less permanently marginalized.

    If there were simple solutions, they would have been implemented by now. This is an intractable problem and it requires a serious push to overcome it or it will continue to persist and affect the American spirit at home and abroad. It is one of the chief reasons that many in the world see US “democracy” and “American ideals” being touted as the solution to the world’s problems as hypocritical.

    Reply

    Winslow R. Reply:

    @Tom Hickey, I find it interesting, now that American Indians have increased financial resources, people are fighting to be recognized by the tribes.

    Reply

  6. Winslow R. says:

    “Shows how quick Republicans are to ’step up’ from Romney. Shows there’s a lot more than racism working against President Obama. ”

    Religion trumps race?

    Reply

    Danny Reply:

    @Winslow R.,

    Yes. The religion is neoliberalism. The only color that matters is green. I think the turn of the GOP base against Romney was because of Romneycare, not his Mormonism.

    Reply

    ESM Reply:

    @Danny,

    Agreed. The Mormon thing is a non-issue, except for maybe 1% of the population.

    I like Romney, but he had to compromise his principles (if he even has any) too much to become governor of Massachusetts, and that is going to keep conservatives very skeptical.

    Reply

    Adam2 Reply:

    @ESM, I like Romney way more than any other Republican candidate. He is pragmatic and not an ideologue. Beowulf also tells me his is a Keynesian.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    which is why he’s having trouble getting party support?

    Winslow R. Reply:

    @ESM, @Danny

    “The Mormon thing is a non-issue, except for maybe 1% of the population”

    If both parties run black men we say racism (‘black’) is a non-issue, by the same logic we won’t know if Mormonism is a non-issue until both the Dems/Repubs run a Mormon.

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @ESM,

    I am sorry to report that I heard GOP strategist Ed Rollins say that inside polling indicates that about 20% of the base will not vote for a Mormon. And they won’t vote for a “Muslim” either. So many of them will sit out would sit out Romney v. Obama.

    ESM Reply:

    @ESM,

    @Tom:

    I suspect it’s one of those things where a specific Mormon will poll much better than a generic Mormon. A generic Mormon might seem weird and scary to some people. But Mitt Romney is a known quantity who just happens to be Mormon.

    Interestingly, a Gallup poll showed that a much higher percentage of Democrats (versus Republicans) would not vote for a Mormon.

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @ESM,

    Don’t want to get into the religion thing, since it is a bit complicated, but the only thing that matters for Romney’s chances is how his religion impacts the base. That 20% is worrisome to GOP strategists like Rollins, and it could also have some impact on where the big money flows.

    Romney has been curiously stuck at 23% in the polls of GOP candidates, while the other candidates number have been volatile. This may suggest that this number represents the Mitt constituency and the rest the not-Mitt number. If so that number will concentrate over time to the non-Mitt candidate that become most viable. Strategist figure that it will be Perry, since he is the only one with big money behind him and a ground game.

    It’s early yet, but NH is considering moving its primary to Dec 6, which would put the IA caucus at the end of November, only weeks way.

    beowulf Reply:

    @Warren Mosler,
    Romney’s not getting support from conservative activists precisely because he’s pragmatic and not an ideologue. Sort of like the reaction Joe Lieberman got from liberal activists when he ran for Dem nomination in 2004. Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard are his economic advisers, so he’s as Keynesian as a Republican you’re going to find.

    Here’s a Bloomberg piece on Cain’s tax plan:
    “The elephant in the room is the fact that Cain is proposing a value-added tax,” said Viard, a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-12/cain-s-9-9-9-plan-raises-2-5-trillion-in-revenue-campaign-says.html

  7. Cain has done one great thing for America. Debate about his 9/9/9 plan has exposed the Tea/Republicans has having no viable plan for the American economy, other than austerity for the lower classes. Without that debate, people actually might have thought the party of “no” had an idea.

    Looks like Obama vs. Romney in a clash of midgets.

    Reply

    Art Reply:

    @Rodger Malcolm Mitchell,

    Good write up in the WashPo with plenty of links:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/herman-cains-misleading-pitch-for-the-999-plan/2011/10/12/gIQAHszPgL_blog.html
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/68670035/Cain-Analysis
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-12/cain-s-9-9-9-plan-raises-2-5-trillion-in-revenue-campaign-says.html
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1941800##
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/inside-the-cain-tax-plan/

    I like the nerds4Cain calculator, with its base assumption that a household making $50K gross/yr saves over $10K and makes $5K of charitable donations, for “only” a 13%+ ETR. Scratch those and it rockets up to 17%+. Nice.: http://www.nerds4cain.com/Blog/archives/723

    Bruce Bartlett (NYT link above) pretty much destroyed it. Reading his analysis, it becomes clear that Cain’s main policy priority is to have us ‘licking the boots of our well-heeled masters.’ Must be a traditionalist. ;)

    Reply

  8. zanon says:

    pls warren

    obama would never have become democratic candidate if he was not african american. his record prior was too weak.

    racism works for obama, not against

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    at a minimum we agree Cain shows that’s it’s not working against him as much as some thought.

    Reply

    ESM Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    The racism charge against the Tea Party has always been a completely bogus and desperate smear.

    The true racists are those who attack conservative blacks as being Uncle Toms. Some of the attacks that people like Shelby Steele, Ward Connerly, Condaleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, and Herman Cain have endured from prominent liberals (of all colors) are so appalling that they should have been universally denounced.

    Apparently, it is politically correct to spew racist bile at a black conservative as long as you are a liberal.

    Reply

    beowulf Reply:

    @ESM,
    A better example is newly elected SC Congressman Tim Scott, he was a black candidate who, with Tea party support, beat Strom Thurmond’s son Paul in the Republican primary last year.

    If any Tea party voters were motivated by race, it’d be in South Carolina and clearly they’re not. So you can call them crazy but its unfair to call them racist. :o)

    ESM Reply:

    @ESM,

    @Beowulf:

    Good point. They also elected a half-Sikh woman as governor, although admittedly she looks white.

    And the good racists of Louisiana seem to love their Indian-American (as opposed to American Indian) governor.

    Adam2 Reply:

    @ESM, Yeah, liberal attacks on conservative minorities are pretty desperate.

    But so are conservative (Tea party) attacks on Obama.

    Jackson Reply:

    @ESM,

    We have a winner.. ESM nails it.

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