New York — Businessman Herman Cain is almost even with Mitt Romney in his appeal as an economic leader to Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Asked which candidate would do the most to improve the economy, 22 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said Romney, 20 percent Cain, a former chief executive officer of Godfather’s Pizza, and 12 percent Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Romney, a former private equity executive and Massachusetts governor, maintains his overall lead in popularity among Republican supporters at 24 percent with Cain in second place at 16 percent on the eve of a Bloomberg-Washington Post Republican presidential debate that will focus on economic issues, according to a national poll by the two news organizations.

The poll results underscore the public’s unsettled mood on the economy. More than half of all Americans think another financial crisis is likely within the next several years. Much of the nation doubts the winner of the presidential race will affect the economic situation or their personal finances, and those who do are about evenly split on who would do better.

The full story is available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-10/cain-pulls-even-with- romney-on-economy-for-republican-supporters-in-poll.html

Bloomberg and The Washington Post, in partnership with WBIN-TV and host Dartmouth College, will present the first debate of the 2012 campaign centered exclusively on the issues voters consider most important – the economy, debt, deficits, taxes, trade and jobs. With the candidates seated side-by-side, the roundtable debate will be moderated by Charlie Rose, The Washington Post political correspondent Karen Tumulty and Bloomberg White House correspondent Julianna Goldman.

Watch the debate live on Oct. 11th at 8PM ET on Bloomberg Television or via livestream on www.bloomberg.com, washingtonpost.com/debate and Bloomberg Mobile.

Be a part of the Bloomberg/The Washington Post debate conversation on Twitter with #EconDebate and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/bloombergtelevision and http://facebook.com/washingtonpost.

Learn more about the debate here: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/76202680/

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Contact for Bloomberg: Meghan Womack, +1 212-617-8514, mwomack4@bloomberg.net