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.”