What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the names of former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry? If you’re anything like the Americans the Pew Research Center surveyed, it’s “9-9-9,” “Mormon” and “Texas,” respectively.
A survey conducted by Pew and the Washington Post asked 1,007 Americans what the first word that came to mind for the three leading candidates for the Republican nomination.
A plurality of respondents who indicated they had an opinion found Cain’s tax plan, Romney’s religion and Perry’s home state as their single greatest identifiers.
When limited to just Republicans, Romney and Perry’s identifier remain the same while “businessman” edged out “9-9-9” for Cain. In total, 12 percent of respondents provided a positive descriptor for Cain, 11 percent for Romney, and 6 percent for Perry. Fourteen percent of respondents ascribed a negative identifier to Cain, 15 percent to Romney and 25 percent to Perry.
Among just Republicans and Republican-leaning respondents, Cain received a positive descriptor from 22 percent and a negative descriptor from 5 percent. Romney received a positive descriptor from 18 percent and a negative descriptor from 15 percent. Perry received a positive descriptor from 9 percent and a negative descriptor from 19 percent.
Forty six percent of respondents provided no opinion of Cain, 37 percent provided no opinion of Romney and 46 percent provided no opinion of Perry.
Among the other top descriptors that came to mind for Cain among all respondents were “business,” “interesting,” “good,” “pizza” and “inexperience.” (RELATED: Cain still giving paid speeches)
For Romney, the other top descriptors were “health care,” “flip-flop,” “good,” “no” and “possibility.”
And for Perry, the other top descriptors were “no,” “idiot,” “conservative,” “governor” and “dislike.”