Yesterday PPP released numbers showing Herman Cain leading Mitt Romney
30-22 in Iowa and our monthly look at the national picture finds the
exact same numbers. Cain is up 30-22 on Romney with Newt Gingrich
sneaking past Rick Perry for 3rd place at 15% to Perry's 14% with
Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul tied for 5th at 5%, Jon Huntsman 7th at
2%, Rick Santorum 8th at 1%, and Gary Johnson 9th with less than 1%.
Strong Tea Party support has Cain in the
driver's seat nationally, just as he has been on our last four
individual state polls. With non-Tea Party Republicans Romney actually
leads Cain 29-27. But with the Tea Party crowd Cain is getting 39% with
Gingrich at 16%, Perry at 14%, and Romney in 4th place at 13%. Romney
doesn't need to win the Tea Partiers to be the Republican nominee. But
he does need to finish better than 4th with them.
There are indications within the poll that Cain's stay at the top
could be short lived. Only 30% of his supporters are solidly committed
to him with 70% saying they might still go on to support someone else.
Those numbers aren't much better for Romney, who only has 31% of his
supporters solidly committed, or Gingrich, who only has 34% solidly
committed. The strongest base of support among the Republican front
runners- even if it's shrinking- is Perry's- 48% of his remaining
backers say they'll definitely vote for him. Overall 70% of Republicans
are either undecided right now or open to voting for someone different
than who they're with now- that signals an extremely wide open race.
Other notes on our national poll:
-For whatever reason there's no doubt Gingrich is the candidate
besides Cain who's had the most momentum on their side in the last
month. His net favorability has increased 20 points from +7 at 46/39 to
+27 at 57/30. And his share of the vote has increased from 10% to 15%.
In an extremely fluid field he could yet prove to be a serious
-Michele Bachmann really could end up with no support. Not only is
she down to 5%, but only 18% of her supporters are sure that they'll end
up voting for her. That puts her solid support below 1%. If she
realizes it's over and drops out before the end of the year Cain would
be the largest beneficiary. 46% of Bachmann's few remaining backers say
he's their second choice with no one else getting more than 17% second
-Although the openness of Cain's supporters to voting for someone
else makes his leading position tenuous, you can also make the argument
that he has the greatest potential for building on his current level of
support in a meaningful way. 24% of GOP voters say he's their second
choice with no one else above 15%- that's Gingrich and he's followed by
Romney at 12% and Perry and Bachmann at 10%. Romney and Perry may
continue to be viewed as the most likely nominees but there aren't a lot
of people currently not in their camps who are open to joining them.
-This almost doesn't seem worth commenting on anymore but Perry's
support is down 17 points from a month ago, from 31% to 14%. And his net
favorability has declined 3o points from +34 (58/24) to only +4
-I'm a little surprised Rick Santorum hasn't had a surge yet given
all the unrest in the Republican field. He has pretty solid
favorability numbers at +25 (43/18). That makes him more popular than
Romney (narrowly) and Perry and Bachmann by a wide margin. Only Cain and
Gingrich do better among the GOP contenders.
-I'm not at all surprised that Jon Huntsman hasn't had a surge yet.
He continues to be unpopular with Republican primary voters- 20% see him
positively to 31% with a negative opinion. He is particularly
unpopular with Tea Partiers at 20/40.
-Part of Cain's rise is because Republican voters are comfortable
with where he stands ideologically. 71% say his views are 'about right.'
That compares to only 53% for Perry and 51% for Romney. Romney's
problem is almost all with people who think he's too liberal- 31% of
primary voters. Concerns with Perry are more divided- 17% think he's
too liberal, but 14% think he's too conservative.
-If the race came down to a two way match between Cain and Romney,
Cain leads 48-36. Cain would pick up Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, and
Santorum's supporters. Romney would get Huntsman and Paul's. Cain
would absolutely crush Perry in a head to head, 55-27. He would win over
the supporters of every other candidate, including Romney's by a 56-24
margin. Romney's supporters really don't like Perry. It seems so last
month to even mention this but Romney leads Perry 48-38 now in a head to
head- that's a 22 point reversal from September when Perry had a 49-37
advantage on that question.
-Republican voters are still evenly divided about whether or not
Barack Obama was born in the United States- 39% say he was, 39% say he
wasn't. Although it's been speculated that the birther movement is about
race Cain actually leads the way with those voters at 25% to 17% for
Gingrich, 12% for Romney, and 10% for Perry.
Full results here
Tags: Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, National, Newt Gingrich, Republican Presidential Primary 2012, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party
Marked as: approved
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