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Cain's Lead in Iowa Narrows, Gingrich Surges in SC

Cain's Lead in Iowa Narrows, Gingrich Surges in SC

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - November 11, 2011


Over the course of a week, Herman Cain's lead in Iowa shrunk from 15 points to four over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a new Insider Advantage poll of likely Republican caucus-goers in the Hawkeye State.

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich moved ahead of Romney into second place in South Carolina, according to another Insider Advantage poll released Friday.

According to the Iowa survey, Cain leads the GOP field with 23 percent of the support, while Romney takes 19 percent. Gingrich comes in third with 15 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 11 percent, and Gov. Rick Perry receives 9 percent. None of the remaining candidates polls above 5 percent, and 13 percent are undecided.

While Cain and Romney sit atop the ballot, Paul leads the field among independent voters with 27 percent of the support. Cain comes close with 26 percent, followed by Gingrich at 14 percent. Romney attracts just 7 percent of independents. Gingrich leads among voters 65 and older, taking 27 percent of the support while Romney attracts 24 percent. Cain holds a 17-point lead over male voters, and Romney holds a two-point edge over the rest of the field among women.

Iowa will be the first state to weigh in on the GOP field and will hold its nominating caucuses on Jan. 3.

Cain also holds the lead in South Carolina, taking 26 percent of the vote from likely primary voters. Gingrich attracts 19 percent, Romney picks up 16 percent, and Perry gets 6 percent. None of the other candidates receives more than 5 percent of the support. In South Carolina, Cain leads among independents by five points. South Carolina, which has correctly picked the Republican nominee each election year since 1980, will hold its primary on Jan. 21.

Insider Advantage surveyed 436 registered likely voters in Iowa on Nov. 8. The sampling error for this poll is plus or minus 4.6 percentage points. Insider Advantage surveyed 457 likely voters in South Carolina also on Nov. 8. The sampling error for that poll is 4.3 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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