Herman Cain Rises to the Top among Republicans for the GOP Primary Win

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – October 21, 2011 – The debates continue and the calendar is quickly moving towards January when the first voting of the 2012 primary will take place. Each month, the story line seems to take a new shift and this month is no exception. Among Republicans, one in five (20%) would vote for Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain in the GOP primary while 18% would vote for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and 11% would vote for Texas Governor Rick Perry. Other candidates are all under 10% including Newt Gingrich (7%), Michele Bachman (4%), Ron Paul (4%), Jon Huntsman (1%), and Rick Santorum (1%). One-third of Republicans (32%), however, are still not at all sure who they would vote for in the Republican primary.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,463 adults surveyed online between October 10 and 17, 2011.

    Among Independents, 17% would vote for Herman Cain, 16% for Mitt Romney and 13% for Ron Paul, with 5% voting for Rick Parry. Two in five Independents (40%) are not at all sure who they would vote for in the primary. Herman Cain jumps out to a larger lead among Conservatives, with one-quarter (26%) saying they would vote for the businessman; 14% would vote for Mitt Romnet and 10% for Rick Perry. Over one-quarter of Tea Party supporters (27%) would vote for Herman Cain in the Republican primary, 17% would vote for Mitt Romney and 11% would vote for Rick Perry.

    Head to head match-ups

    Looking at some specific candidates versus President Obama, Mitt Romney is the closest competitor. If the presidential election were held today, 41% of Americans would vote for President Obama, 40% would vote for Mitt Romney and 18% are not at all sure. Looking at the probable swing states for 2012, 42% of people from those states would vote for Mitt Romney and 39% would vote for President Obama while 19% are not at all sure.

    If Ron Paul is the eventual Republican nominee, 41% of Americans would vote for President Obama and 36% would vote for Ron Raul with one-quarter (23%) not at all sure. Among the swing states for next year it’s a tie with 38% voting for President Obama and 38% voting for Ron Paul, with 23% not at all sure.

    Between Rick Perry and President Obama, 45% of U.S. adults would vote for the President while 36% would vote for the Texas Governor and one in five Americans (19%) say they are not at all sure. Among Independents, more than two in five (43%) would vote for President Obama and 35% would vote for Rick Perry.

    Herman Cain has made a push to the top among the Republican nominees, but in a head to head match-up, 43% of Americans would vote for President Obama and 35% would vote for Herman Cain with 22% saying they are not at all sure. Among the 2012 swing states, two in five (40%) would vote for the President while 36% would vote for Herman Cain.

    So What?

    For most people the months of November and December will be spent getting ready for the holidays and enjoying time with family. Not so for the Republican candidates who have a date with the Iowa caucus in very early January and a still to be determined date with the New Hampshire primary shortly thereafter. These are the weeks that will set the stage for the first contests and determine who moves on to Super Tuesday in March. Possibly by then, the general election field will be set.

     

    TABLE 1

    REPUBLICAN PRIMARY ELECTION

    If you were voting in the Republican primary election and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total Oct 2011

    Political Party

    Political Philosophy

    Tea Party Support

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Mitt Romney

    16

    18

    17

    16

    14

    18

    11

    17

    Herman Cain

    13

    20

    7

    17

    26

    9

    5

    27

    Ron Paul

    8

    4

    6

    13

    6

    9

    10

    7

    Rick Perry

    6

    11

    3

    5

    10

    4

    4

    11

    Jon Huntsman, Jr.

    4

    1

    7

    4

    *

    4

    10

    1

    Michele Bachmann

    3

    4

    4

    2

    4

    3

    2

    5

    Newt Gingrich

    3

    7

    2

    1

    5

    2

    2

    6

    Rick Santorum

    1

    1

    1

    1

    2

    *

    1

    2

    Gary Johnson

     *

    1

    1

    *

    1

    1

    *

    Not at all sure

    46

    32

    53

    40

    34

    50

    54

    25

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than .05

     

    TABLE 2A

    ROMNEY VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Party ID

    Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Mitt Romney

    40

    83

    9

    42

    71

    34

    9

    Barack Obama

    41

    7

    79

    34

    15

    43

    78

    Not at all sure

    18

    10

    13

    23

    14

    23

    13

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 2B

    ROMNEY VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Partisan

    Swing States

    Mod./

    Ind.

    Cons./ Tea Party

    2012

    5% in 2008

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Mitt Romney

    40

    39

    90

    42

    43

    Barack Obama

    41

    34

    5

    39

    38

    Not at all sure

    18

    26

    5

    19

    19

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; 2012 Swing States are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia; 5% states in 2008 are Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina and Ohio

     

    TABLE 3A

    PERRY VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Party ID

    Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Rick Perry

    36

    76

    7

    35

    68

    28

    8

    Barack Obama

    45

    9

    81

    43

    15

    49

    80

    Not at all sure

    19

    15

    12

    22

    17

    24

    12

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 3B

    PERRY VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Partisan

    Swing States

    Mod./Ind.

    Cons./ Tea Party

    2012

    5% in 2008

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Rick Perry

    36

    27

    94

    37

    39

    Barack Obama

    45

    48

    2

    42

    40

    Not at all sure

    19

    25

    4

    21

    22

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 4A

    PAUL VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Party ID

    Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Ron Paul

    36

    71

    8

    37

    61

    32

    10

    Barack Obama

    41

    7

    79

    37

    14

    45

    75

    Not at all sure

    23

    22

    13

    25

    25

    24

    15

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 4B

    PAUL VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Partisan

    Swing States

    Mod./Ind.

    Cons./ Tea Party

    2012

    5% in 2008

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Ron Paul

    36

    33

    83

    38

    42

    Barack Obama

    41

    41

    3

    38

    37

    Not at all sure

    23

    26

    14

    23

    21

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 5A

    CAIN VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Party ID

    Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Herman Cain

    35

    71

    7

    38

    65

    28

    7

    Barack Obama

    43

    9

    79

    38

    15

    45

    79

    Not at all sure

    22

    20

    14

    24

    20

    26

    14

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 5B

    CAIN VS. OBAMA

    If the presidential election were held today and these were the two candidates, for whom would you most likely vote?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Partisan

    Swing States

    Mod./Ind.

    Cons./ Tea Party

    2012

    5% in 2008

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Herman Cain

    35

    33

    92

    36

    38

    Barack Obama

    43

    40

    3

    40

    39

    Not at all sure

    22

    26

    5

    24

    23

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 10 and 17, 2011 among 2,463 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J40806

    Q1230, 1235, 1245, 1246, 1247

    The Harris Poll® #111, October 21, 2011

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research