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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending October 15, 2011

Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman quipped at last Tuesday night’s debate that at first he thought rival Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan was the price of a pizza. Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, wasn’t amused, but for now at least he’s having the last laugh.

Following the debate focused on economic issues, Can is tied with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the only other candidate in double digits. Republican voters think either front-runner would be likely to defeat President Obama, but most still expect Romney to be the nominee.

Romney remains neck-and-neck with Obama in the latest hypothetical Election 2012 matchup of the two men. They’ve been virtually tied for several weeks. But now Cain has pulled within three points of the president – 42% to 39% - in their latest matchup. This is Cain’s best showing to date. Obama held a seven-point lead over the Georgia businessman in late August.

Forty percent (40%) of Likely U.S. Voters favor Cain’s 9-9-9 tax reform plan once they’re told that it would eliminate all existing federal taxes and replace them with a nine percent flat tax on household income (allowing only charitable deductions), a nine percent corporate tax and a nine percent national sales tax. Most GOP voters (56%) support the plan, compared to 27% of Democrats and 36% of unaffiliated voters. However, the large number of people with no opinion means that these numbers could shift significantly if Cain remains a top contender for the GOP nomination.

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