Herman Cain Leads GOP Presidential Race in New Polls

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 13, 2011   |   12:07PM   |   Washington, DC

The momentum on the Cain train is going strong as pro-life Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain now leads all GOP candidates seeking to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama, according to a new NBC poll.

Cain is now the first choice of 27 percent of Republicans poll by the television network followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 23 percent and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 16 percent — both of whom are running as pro-life candidates. Texas’ Rep. Ron Paul clocks in at 11 percent with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann at 5 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 3 percent.

“Fueled by Tea Party supporters, conservatives and high-interest GOP primary voters, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain now leads the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll,” NBC News deputy political director Mark Murry said of the survey.

The survey of 336 voters who say they plan to vote in Republican primaries has a margin of error on each result of +/- 5.35 percentage points.

It is the second poll this week to show Cain in the lead, following a Public Policy Polling survey that has the businessman leading Mitt Romney by eight percentage points, 30 percent to 22 percent. In that poll Gingrich comes in with 15 percent to Rick Perry’s 14%, Michele Bachmann’s and Ron Paul’s 5%, Jon Huntsman’s 2%, Rick Santorum’s 1%, and Gary Johnson’s less than 1%.

“Perry is down a shocking 17 points in the last month; he led with 31% in PPP’s September poll. In his stead, Cain has jumped 22 points from sixth place. Gingrich is up a nominal five points, and Romney four, while Paul is down six, and Bachmann four,” the firm said.

Today, a new CNN Poll of Polls of the GOP race indicates Cain has moved into a close second place right behind Romney, 23-20 percent with Perry at 14 percent, and Paul at 10 percent. The CNN Poll of Polls, an average of the latest four national surveys in the GOP race, was compiled and released today and it has Gingrich at 6 percent, Bachmann at 5 percent, and Santorum and Huntsman at 2 percent each.

CNN used the new NBC poll, the Reuters/Ipsos Poll, the Washington Post/Bloomberg Poll and the Gallup poll – -all of which were conducted last week and released this week.

John Hayward of Human Events notes that the polls were conducted before Tuesday night’s debate — where Cain and his economic plan were the centerpiece of attention and he notes that Gingrich is also seeing momentum along with Cain.

“Interestingly, although Gingrich doesn’t fare well enough to crack the top three in the WSJ/NBC poll, they’ve got his positive approval ratings roughly in line with Cain and Romney – at Cain 52%, Romney 51%, and Gingrich 49%, they have by far the highest favorability ratings of the GOP field,” he said. “PPP has their favorability ratings at Cain 66%, Gingrich 57%, Romney 55%.  Gingrich and Cain appear to be doing very well with campaigns built largely on good debate performances.”

Meanwhile, Cain has also moved into a lead in the important primary state of Florida, which saw John McCain essentially put the nomination out of reach of other candidates last primary election.

An American Research Group poll released today shows Cain leads the Florida Republican presidential primary with 34% followed by Mitt Romney at 28% and Newt Gingrich at 11%. In July, Rick Perry was leading in Florida with 16%, followed closely by Michele Bachmann at 15%, Romney at 15%, Sarah Palin at 13%, and Cain at 11%.

Cain leads Romney 34% to 28% among registered Republicans likely to vote in the primary, with Gingrich at 11%. Among Tea Party supporters, Cain leads Romney 43% to 19%, with 12% for Gingrich. Among likely Republican primary voters saying they are not Tea Party supporters or that they are undecided about the Tea Party, Romney leads Cain 38% to 23%, with 9% for Gingrich. Among likely voters saying they will definitely vote, Cain leads Romney 36% to 27%.