Ben Pershing writes at The Washington Post:Republicans' support for Herman Cain has surged to 18%, their support for Rick Perry has sagged to 15%, and their support for Mitt Romney remains relatively stable at 20%. However, Romney's support is matched by the 20% of Republicans who are unsure which candidate they will back for the Republican nomination in 2012.
Gallup's Oct. 3-7 update of Republicans' preferences for their party's 2012 presidential nominee shows that Romney since mid-September has regained a numerical lead over the rest of the field, mainly because Perry's support has dropped by half over the same period. At the same time, support for Cain has more than tripled, from 5% to 18%, creating a competitive three-way race for the nomination between Romney, Cain, and Perry -- all within five percentage points of each other. Prior to now, Gallup has had Romney out front, Perry out front, or a two-way battle between them.
Also of note in the new results are Ron Paul's return to single-digit support levels, and the failure of Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman to make significant gains.
Businessman Herman Cain has surged into the top tier of presidential candidates in Virginia, according to a new poll of the state, moving into a tie in the Republican nomination contest with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has faded considerably.
The Quinnipiac University Poll of Virginia released Tuesday shows Romney and Cain at 21 percent apiece among Republican voters, while Perry sits at 11 percent--less than half the support he registered in the same poll a month ago.
Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) gets 9 percent, while Rep. Michelle Bachmann (Minn.) and former House speaker Newt Gingrich receive 7 percent apiece.
With barely three months to go before the first Republican presidential nominating contests, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the GOP field in both Iowa and New Hampshire, according to new NBC News-Marist polls of these early races.
While Romney holds a commanding 30-point advantage over the nearest competition in New Hampshire, he clings to just a three-point lead over former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain in Iowa, largely due to his lack of support among the Tea Party.
"Romney has a precarious lead" in Iowa, says Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the survey. "But in New Hampshire, he has a big lead any way you slice it."