Herman Cain has moved into a tie with Mitt Romney atop the field of Republican presidential candidates, according to a new CBS News poll, while Rick Perry has fallen 11 percentage points in just two weeks.
The poll shows Cain, who stood at just five percent support two weeks ago, now holding 17 percent support among Republican primary voters. That puts the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO into a tie with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, whose support has essentially held steady over the past two weeks.
Perry, meanwhile, has dropped from 23 percent support to just 12 percent support over the past two weeks, a sign that the Texas governor’s shaky debate performances – in which he has alienated portions of both the Republican base and the party establishment – have taken their toll.
Eight in ten Republican primary voters said the candidates’ debate performances are at least somewhat important to them, and 58 percent said they have watched the debates that have already taken place. Just ten percent of Republican primary voters said they agreed with Perry that the children of illegal immigrants should be allowed to get in-state tuition, a contentious topic in recent debates.
The silver lining for Perry is the race remains fluid: Three in four Republican primary voters who chose a candidate also said it was too early to make up their minds completely. Just 19 percent said they had definitively decided who they would support.
Rounding out the field are Newt Gingrich with eight percent support, Ron Paul with seven percent, Michele Bachmann with four percent, Rick Santorum with three percent and Jon Huntsman with two percent. Eighteen percent said they were undecided or unsure.
Source: CBS News | Brian Montopoli