In the headline’s order:
Businessman Herman Cain is now atop the field of Republican White House hopefuls, squeaking past former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the latest CBS News/New York Times poll.
Cain garnered 25 percent support of Republican primary voters in the poll released on Tuesday, compared to Romney’s 21 percent.
The poll was taken after the Nevada debate. The CBS poll didn’t filter (much) for GOP primary voters; only about a third of the voters in the survey plan to vote in a GOP primary. The rest are “adults,” meaning not filtered for party or voting likelihood. Still, Cain can probably use the result to convince some donors of his viability and offset some of the damage from his gaffes of the past week. Well, if there is any damage to offset. If there is, it has yet to show up in any poll so far. Perry’s slide from top to fifth since September is remarkable. With about 10 weeks to go before the first votes are cast, Perry has unveiled two major economic plans, changed debate tactics and added some new national names to his campaign team. They have a great deal of ground to make up.
As for Romney, the air of inevitability is gone. He isn’t going up in the polls as voting draws near, and is either static or losing ground to Cain. His 59-point economic plan has been on the streets for weeks, and he is starting to take on damage from his policy past. Romney is obviously still in the game, but the momentum is shifting toward the Anyone But candidates.