The Big Story Blog

After GOP candidate debate, who owns the momentum?

Posted at 6:20 AM on October 19, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Iowa, Politics

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(CNN.com)

Where's this thing headed?

Viewers could be forgiven for asking that question after watching Republican contenders for president savage each other during a debate in Las Vegas.

Mitt Romney and Herman Cain remain at the top of the polls. The rest of the field is still angling for a fight.

Today, we'll be chasing news and insight about the Republican contenders, starting with last night's debate and looking forward. We'll check in on the status of Michele Bachmann's campaign and Cain's emerging status as a front runner.

Add your voice and questions to the mix. Add a comment or contact us directly.

Here are some things we know this morning.

Herman Cain is for real. The ex-CEO has become a serious candidate. The experts might dismiss his "9-9-9" tax plan, but it resonates with people who believe a complex tax code is stacked against them.

Cain Maintains Positive Intensity as Recognition Grows, the Gallup polling group said yesterday. Here's what it found:

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Bachmann is scrambling for traction.That Gallup chart paints a very different picture for Bachmann and other candidates.

While her name recognition is high, and she continues to press ahead with policy ideas, it's clear many Republican voters have cooled toward Bachmann, who's had to defend herself from her ex-campaign manager, Ed Rollins.

If nothing else, Bachmann probably won some sympathy points with Republican voters after acknowledging that, had she Googled Rollins before hiring him, she would have discovered his history of making critical remarks about candidates he worked for.

Sympathy points, though, may not translate into votes.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.