Businessman Herman Cain remains the GOP frontrunner, with 28% of registered voters who say they will vote in a 2012 Republican primary or caucus naming him as their preference. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney continues in second place, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
Cain’s lead continues to be fueled by Tea Party support. He wins more than 40% of their vote. Romney is second. Romney leads with non-Tea Party identifiers. Cain also does well with men and with better-educated Republican voters.
Taxes have frequently been an important issue for many Republicans. 65% of GOP voters say the tax code needs major reform. The major contenders have offered distinct tax proposals: Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 (a 9% sales tax, a 9% flat tax, and a 9% tax on business profits), Rick Perry’s flat tax, and Mitt Romney’s set of tax re- forms. 29% of Republican voters choose the Cain plan, one in five favor Romney and Perry’s proposals. Americans overall are more likely to favor Romney’s less specific tax reform proposals, but about a quarter aren’t sure.
Will any candidate’s tax plan garner him support? Among the public overall, more say each Republican’s plan will make them less likely to vote for him than say it will make them vote for the candidate. Republican voters think differently, but even they have favorites. Cain’s plan garners him the most GOP support, but Romney’s reforms run a close second.
President Obama continues to lead all three of those GOP candidates in a fall matchup, though Romney fares best. He trails President Obama by three points — 45% to 42%. When asked whether voters would support the Republican or Democratic presidential candidate, without specifying a name, the Democratic candidate also leads by a margin of three (42% to 39%).
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