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Cain, Romney Tied for Lead in National Poll

Cain, Romney Tied for Lead in National Poll

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - November 7, 2011


A new national poll finds the embattled Herman Cain tied with Mitt Romney for the lead in the GOP presidential race.

Cain and Romney each attract 21 percent of the support from Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, according to a USA Today/Gallup survey released Monday. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich garners 12 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry places closely behind with 11 percent, down from 31 percent in September and 15 percent last month. Romney's numbers have remained virtually unchanged in the past month.

The remaining candidates poll in the single digits. Texas Rep. Ron Paul gets 8 percent; Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann receives 3 percent; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 2 percent; and ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, 1 percent. Notably, 21 percent of respondents are undecided about whom they will support.

A Gallup poll conducted last month showed Romney leading Cain by two points -- within the poll's margin of error -- and Perry in third place.

Cain has come under fire over the past week after reports surfaced that he was accused of harassing several women when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. Still, a slight majority (53 percent) of Republicans surveyed say they are "inclined to believe" the accusations are false, while 35 percent believe the charges are likely to be true. Forty-five percent say Cain has done a good job handling the charges while 36 percent disapprove of the way he has responded. Roughly half of those surveyed say they've been paying attention to the story, which Politico broke on Oct. 30. Those paying close attention are split on whether Cain handled the fallout well.

Gallup finished conducting the survey on Sunday. On Monday, a fourth woman came forward and held a press conference in New York accusing Cain of sexual misconduct. The Cain camp has denied these allegations as well.

The Republican candidates will face off on Wednesday in a debate in Michigan.

Gallup surveyed 1,054 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents from Nov. 2-6. The sampling error is plus or minus four 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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