One-Word Reactions To GOP Candidates Favor Herman Cain; Perry Draws the Most Ire

A recent survey that asked Americans to describe leading GOP leaders "in a single word" found that Herman Cain was viewed in the most favorable terms. Americans most frequently associated Cain with his proposed "9-9-9" tax plan, followed by his ties to business and 23 respondents who found him "interesting." Romney was most closely associated with his religion, Mormonism, and his work on health care, and Rick Perry was most often identified with his home state of Texas.

While nearly as many (12%) respondents used positive words as negative words (14%) to describe Cain, a higher percentage of respondents used negative words and not positive ones to describe both Romney (21% versus 11%) and Perry (25% versus 6%). But while the negative continued to outweigh the positive for Perry when the respondent group was limited to Republicans and GOP-leaners, with 19% using a negative word and only 9% a positive one, both Cain and Romney received more positive than negative feedback among their party's political base. Still, the support for Romney (18% positive versus 15% negative) was less impressive than that for Cain (22% versus 5%).In addition, the survey found that "many Americans are unable to come up with words to describe the three GOP candidates. Nearly half (46%) did not offer a one-word description of Cain, 44% did not offer a word to describe Perry and 37% did not have a one-word description of Romney." The survey was conducted by the Pew People & the Press and The Washington Post from October 13-16; its respondent population was 1,007 adults.

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