This week’s Economist/YouGov Poll results provide no doubt who the GOP favorite is: businessman Herman Cain has a double-digit lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. And now Cain’s popularity with registered voters who say they will vote in a Republican primary or caucus next year is not only because of his support from those GOP voters who identify with the Tea Party.
If you had to choose one, which of these individuals would you want to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012?
|Registered voters who are likely to vote in Republican primary or caucus|
Cain leads Romney 31% to 21% among all Republican voters, and by 38% to 19% among Tea Partiers (who make up nearly half of all Republican voters). He and Romney are co-frontrunners with the 56% of Republican voters who do not identify with that group. 24% of non-Tea Party GOP voters favor Cain, 22% Romney.
As for the rest of the field, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Texas Governor Rick Perry have the support of about one in ten GOP voters. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, once a favorite, has dropped to only 4% support.
Cain may yet have a long way to go to reach Democratic and independent voters. But Republican voters see him as caring, sharing their values, tough and capable enough to do the job. In fact, he does better than Romney does with Republican voters when it comes to caring about them, and sharing their values.
But among the public overall, both Cain and Romney are seen mostly negatively. However, Americans are more likely to see both Republicans as tough enough to handle the job. Romney scores better than Cain with the public overall when it comes to understanding the complex problems a President must face, and having the overall qualifications to be a good president.
Romney is seen as more electable that Cain is. By 40% to 27%, Americans think the President would defeat Cain. They see a Romney-Obama matchup as more competitive. But both men would now give President Barack Obama a very close contest if next November’s election were being held today. When registered voters are asked who they would support today, Obama leads Romney by just four points, and Cain by just three.
Photo source: Press Association