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Cain Holds Big Lead Over GOP Rivals in Iowa

Cain Holds Big Lead Over GOP Rivals in Iowa

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - November 6, 2011


Despite being embroiled in controversy last week, Herman Cain leads the Republican presidential field by 15 percentage points in Iowa, according to a new poll taken four days after news broke that the Atlanta businessman had been accused of sexually harassing women while head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s.

Cain attracts 30 percent support from Iowa GOP caucus-goers, according to the Insider Advantage poll. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney places a distant second with 15 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich rounds out the top three with 12 percent. The remaining candidates poll in the single digits: Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 9 percent, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann -- who won the straw poll in Ames in August -- receives 8 percent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry earns 6 percent, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has 2 percent.

Cain leads among each age group by double digits except for voters 65 and older, who back Romney over Cain, 25 percent to 14 percent. Cain also leads among minority groups. He holds a 17-point edge over Gingrich among male voters (Romney comes in third) and a 12-point lead over Romney among females (Gingrich places third).

Though he leads his GOP rivals in the Hawkeye State, Cain has spent little time in Iowa recently, and has a thin operation there. He spent last week in Washington, D.C., meeting with lawmakers and addressing conservative groups as the story of the allegations unfolded. Iowa will have the first say in nominating a Republican presidential candidate, as it will hold its caucuses on Jan. 3.

For this poll, Insider Advantage surveyed 507 likely Republican caucus-goers on Nov. 3. The sampling error is plus or minus five 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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