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Poll: Cain Leads GOP Field; Gingrich Surges

Poll: Cain Leads GOP Field; Gingrich Surges

By Kyle Adams - October 12, 2011


A national poll released Wednesday shows former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Additionally, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has moved past Texas Gov. Rick Perry into third place.

According to the Public Policy Polling (D) survey, Cain leads the field with 30 percent support. Romney has 22 percent, Gingrich has 15 percent, and Perry has 14 percent. None of the other candidates garners more than 5 percent support.

Both Cain and Gingrich have benefited from Perry's decline. The Texas governor rocketed to the top of the polls after he entered the race in August but has fallen in the wake of several mediocre debate performances.

Cain and Gingrich, on the other hand, have received mostly positive reviews for their debate performances. At last night's debate in Hanover, N.H., Cain's rivals noted his entrance into the top tier by challenging him on his "9-9-9" tax plan.

Cain enjoys the highest favorability rating of anyone in the Republican field. Sixty-six percent of voters say they view him favorably while only 15 percent say they view him unfavorably. Romney enjoys a 55 percent favorability rating. Thirty-one percent say they view the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably. Gingrich enjoys the second-highest favorability rating (57 percent) of any candidate in the race. Thirty percent of voters view the former House speaker unfavorably.

The poll shows Cain topping Romney, 48-36, in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup. Cain tops Perry by an even wider margin, 55 percent to 27 percent.

PPP surveyed 484 usual Republican primary voters from Oct. 7-10. The poll has margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Kyle Adams can be reached at kadams@realclearpolitics.com.

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