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Despite Allegations, Cain Leads GOP Field in National Poll

Despite Allegations, Cain Leads GOP Field in National Poll

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - November 3, 2011


Herman Cain continues to lead the Republican presidential primary field, despite allegations that he harassed two women while he led the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s.

A Rasmussen Reports poll taken three days after Politico reported the past allegations shows Cain leading the Republican presidential field with 26 percent of the support from likely GOP primary voters. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is close behind with 23 percent. Cain leads among the most conservative voters with 38 percent. Last month, Rasmussen found Cain and Romney tied at 29 percent.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich places third with 14 percent. The remaining candidates poll in the single digits: Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets 8 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul receives 7 percent, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman each attracts just 2 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum picks up 1 percent.

Notably, 68 percent of voters say they aren't entirely committed to a candidate and could change their minds.

Cain may lead the pack, but a plurality of voters -- 49 percent -- say Romney is most likely to win the GOP nod. Only 18 percent say the same about Cain. But voters also seem well aware of the reports about Cain: 76 percent recognized him as the one accused of harassment. Only 13 percent of voters think it's "very likely" the allegations are serious and true.

Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 likely Republican primary voters on Nov. 2. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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