Herman Cain leads the national Republican field of candidates for president, according to a new poll released Wednesday. But another poll released the same day and conducted over almost exactly the same field dates shows Cain still trailing Mitt Romney.
The poll that found Cain in the lead was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm that uses an automated phone call methodology, Oct. 7-10. It found Cain leading Mitt Romney by eight percentage points, 30 percent to 22 percent. Newt Gingrich followed with 15 percent and Rick Perry with 14 percent.
Casting doubt on the PPP results, though, was an Ipsos/Reuters poll released later in the day and conducted over similar field dates, which showed Romney still in the lead by four percentage points, with 23 percent to Cain’s 19 percent. In that poll, Ron Paul followed with 13 percent and Rick Perry with 10 percent. That poll was conducted using live interviews, a more traditional survey methodology, Oct. 6-10.
Although the PPP poll is good news for Cain, most other national polls fielded since the beginning of October have shown Cain trailing Romney. The exceptions are the Zogby internet poll, which has consistently produced results far more favorable to Cain than any other national poll, and the Economist/YouGov poll, which also uses an internet panel. PPP’s polls have also consistently shown Cain performing better than other national surveys have since he joined the race. The image below compares Cain’s performance on PPP surveys to HuffPost Pollster’s national trend estimate, which continues to show Cain lagging behind Romney by a 21 percent to 17 percent margin.
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SOURCE: The Huffington Post
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.
And in yet another sign of how volatile the Republican race has been with less than three months until the first nominating contests, the onetime frontrunner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has plummeted to third place, dropping more than 20 percentage points since late August.
“Cain is the leader … That’s the story,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
But McInturff cautions that Cain’s ascent — and Perry’s decline — is probably not the last shakeup in a GOP race that has seen a series of sudden rises and abrupt falls (first Donald Trump, then Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and now Perry) in the field.
“There is still a long, long, long time to go,” McInturff said.
Cain checks in as the first choice of 27 percent of Republican voters in the poll, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 23 percent and Perry at 16 percent. After those three, it’s Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 11 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8 percent, Bachmann at 5 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 3 percent.
In the previous survey, conducted in late August, Perry led the field at 38 percent, Romney stood at 23 percent, while Cain was at only 5 percent.
“He isn’t a politician”
Cain’s numbers are sky-high among Republican primary voters. Fifty-two percent view him favorably, versus just 6 percent who see him unfavorably. Among Tea Party supporters, his favorable/unfavorable score is 69 percent to 5 percent. And among Republicans who identify themselves as “very conservative,” it’s 72 percent to 2 percent.
In follow-up interviews with respondents supporting Cain, they argue that he’s not a politician, and that he seems real. “He has common-sense answers and is in touch with the heartbeat of America,” said one respondent, a 46-year-old male from Florida.
“Cain gives direct answers. He is succinct. He isn’t a politician,” answered another who’s a 56-year-old male from Washington.