GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has overtaken his rivals for the nomination in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO tops the shortlist of candidates as the choice of 27 percent of likely Republican voters. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is second with 23 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is third, at 16 percent.
“There is still a long, long, long time to go,” cautions Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey along with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart.
“Cain is the leader,” Hart declares. “That’s the story.”
And that story mirrors what InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery predicted last week during an interview with Newsmax
, when he commented on his own poll's finding that Cain had snatched the lead from Romney among likely GOP primary voters.
The NBC/WSJ poll
of 1,000 likely voters was taken Oct. 6-10, before Tuesday night’s GOP candidate debate in which political analysts say both Cain and Romney did well.
Perry lost more than 20 percentage points from the previous survey in late August. At that time, Perry led the field with 38 percent, followed by Romney with 23 percent, while Cain claimed only 5 percent.
Among the rest of the field, Texas Rep. Ron Paul was in fourth place at 11 percent, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8 percent; Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, 5 percent; and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, 3 percent.
Just over half of Republican primary voters now view Cain favorably, as opposed to just 6 percent who view him unfavorably. His popularity is even higher among tea party supporters, with 69 percent viewing Cain favorably and 6 percent viewing him unfavorably.
Among “very conservative” Republicans, Cain enjoys a favorable rating of 72 percent, as opposed to just 2 percent who don’t view him favorably.
Cain supporters appear to be impressed by the fact that their candidate is not a politician and that he seems real. One 46-year-old male respondent from Florida reportedly said of Cain: “He has common-sense answers and is in touch with the heartbeat of America.”
Still another cited his “direct” answers. “He is succinct. He isn’t a politician,” said a 56-year-old male from Washington.
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