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2012: Cain continues to lead

A CBS/New York Times poll released last night showed Cain up 25%-21% over Romney, with Perry fading all the way to fifth with just 6%. That’s down from 12% at the beginning of the month and 23% in September. Newt Gingrich is up to double digits at 10%. Ron Paul’s behind him at 8%.

But where was Cain yesterday? Signing books and giving a speech in Le Marque, Texas. He remains in Texas for an event in Corpus Christie. Texas’ primary, by the way, isn’t until March 6th.

The Washington Post: “At a moment when the fragility of the economy ranks at the top of American concerns, sharp differences have begun to emerge in how the leading GOP presidential contenders would solve the problem — illuminating not only a diversity in approach, but a striking contrast in the candidates’ governing philosophies.”

GINGRICH: The Boston Globe reports the Gingrich campaign hired his first New Hampshire staff and plans to open five offices in the Granite State, hoping to bring the candidate “back from the brink.” This comes as Gingrich announced his campaign fundraising totals this month surpassed the amount he raised in the entire third quarter, per NBC’s Jo Ling Kent and Alex Moe.

HUNTSMAN: He said last night at George Washington University in DC, per NBC’s Matt Loffman: "My good friend Rick Perry talked about a flat tax today.  I'm okay with a flat tax, but you know what? For Rick, it's an option because he still keeps the old system.  So if you're gaming the tax system based upon loopholes and deductions, you're going to keep gaming the system.  And all I'm saying, the tax system of yesterday, it's done.  It's gone.  We're phasing everything out."

PERRY: In a new web video released today, Perry says he will create at least 2.5 million new jobs.

Per GOP 12, on O’Reilly last night on FOX, Perry didn't just say that he's made mistakes in the debates, he actually said that the debates themselves were mistakes.

ROMNEY: NBC’s Garrett Haake reports Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada will endorse Mitt Romney, giving the former Massachusetts governor both of Nevada’s GOP congressmen, and their lieutenant governor.

SANTORUM: “As Herman Cain’s star appears to be declining, there is already media speculation on who will be the next ‘it flavor’ of the 2012 race,” GOP 12’s Christian Heinze writes.