Atlanta’s Herman Cain continues to build on the momentum that began five weeks ago with his big win in Florida’s straw poll as two newly released polls confirm that Cain is now the leader of the eight-person field.
Fox News and CBS News/NY Times have both released their most recent poll results. The Fox News poll was conducted October 23 –October 25 while the CBS News/NY Times poll was conducted October 19 – October 24.
Both polls have business man Herman Cain ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by four points with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in third. Texas Governor Rick Perry was fourth in the Fox News poll and fifth in the CBS New/NY Times poll. US Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) was fifth in the Fox News poll (a single point behind Perry) and fourth in the CBS News/NY Times poll (two points ahead of Perry).
Also identical in both polls were the bottom three finishers. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was sixth, former Senator (Pennsylvania) Rick Santorum was seventh (a point behind Bachmann in both polls) and former Ambassador Jon Huntsman was last, barely breaking the one percent mark in one poll and not reaching it in the other.
Fox News CBS News/ NY Times
1) Herman Cain – 24% Herman Cain – 25%
2) Mitt Romney – 20% Mitt Romney – 21%
3) Newt Gingrich – 12% Newt Gingrich – 10%
4) Rick Perry – 10% Ron Paul – 8%
5) Ron Paul – 9% Rick Perry – 6%
6) M. Bachmann – 3% M.Bachmann -2%
7) Rick Santorum – 3% Rick Santorum – 1%
8) Jon Huntsman – <1% Jon Huntsman – 1%
The Cain and Gingrich campaigns are clearly gaining support as the campaign season gets farther along. While Cain was the main benefactor of Perry’s loss of support (Cain doubled his support in a very short period of time with the majority of those fleeing the Perry camp going to Cain), Gingrich has rebounded from a low point of 2-3% and mass staff resignations a couple of months ago to now being in the top three . Gingrich has consistently been acknowledged as the most informed and knowledgeable during the debates and the poll results indicate that is earning him support-albeit at a slower pace than Cain but his base is growing and that will make him an impact candidate into next year.
Cain continues to build support even as he has faltered on occasion as the front runner. People like him and find his style and approach to not just politics, but life, refreshing.
Paul has a solid base and he will not lose much support in the campaign process while at the same time it is not likely that he will receive any significant bounce. The Paul core supporters will be enough to keep him the top 5 until voting begins in January.
Perry’s slide continues despite coming out more aggressively in the last debate and being on the attack more in his interviews and appearances. Based on the poll results, his more aggressive posture has hurt him. His attacks on both Cain’s 9-9-9 plan as well as Romney’s use of illegal immigrants as employees has been seen as weak attempts to respond to his own weaknesses in those areas in early debates.
At his peak Perry was at 31 percent (week of September 18th) and now is at 10 (Fox News) and 6 (CBS News/NY Times) percent. Before the last debate Real Clear Politics had Perry with an average of 15 percent – since the debate he has shed another five points. Almost all of the support Perry has lost in the last six weeks has moved to the Cain camp.
While Romney is firmly a top two candidate and will be in the race until the end, it should be of concern to his supporters that he continues to have difficulty in gaining support beyond the 23-28 percent he has held since the race began. Most voters know Romney due to his last campaign and it is not likely that there is more that voters can learn about him that would sway their vote if not already with him. Romney’s inability to build momentum means this will be a hotly contested battle deep into next year that will include at least five contestants and any of those in the top three could win the GOP nomination.
Bachmann, Santorum and Huntsman combined have such a low percentage of support (6.8%) that they are non-factors in the race.
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