Tags: Romney | Gingrich | Tied | Poll

Gingrich Catches Romney, New Poll Shows

Monday, 14 Nov 2011 07:58 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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A new national survey of Republicans shows that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has tied Mitt Romney in the race for the party's nomination, as support for Herman Cain's candidacy wanes in light of sexual harassment allegations against him.

The CNN/ORC International Poll  found that 24 percent of Republicans and independents who lean GOP believe that the former Massachusetts governor is their most likely choice for the nomination, while Gingrich is at a close 22 percent, a statistical tie.

The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent, or 4.5 percent on questions only for Republicans and GOP-leaning independents.

Editor’s Note: Romney VS. Gingrich. Pick One or Pick Neither. Vote Now

The news is especially good for Gingrich because his support has jumped 14 points since October.  Romney's numbers have held steady.

With just seven weeks until the Iowa caucuses, Gingrich is surging and taking the "anybody-but-Romney" spot among the contenders, CNN reports.

Yet, voters seem to like the two men well. The poll indicates the two are the most popular Republican candidates among the GOP rank and file, and the only two with favorable ratings above 50 percent among the Republicans surveyed. Three-quarters say the two have the right qualities to be president.

When matched against President Barack Obama, however, Gingrich falls by 8 points, while Romney tops the president for the first time.

The poll  found that 14 percent of those potential voters back Cain, down 11 points from October.  Four women have made claims that Cain sexually harassed them during the late 1990s when he headed the National Restaurant Association.

Cain has denied the allegations. The poll indicated that Cain is holding on to a bare majority of GOP-leaning voters, and a third say he should end his campaign.

"Cain is struggling with the charges of sexual harassment, and while most Republicans tend to dismiss those charges, roughly four in 10 Republicans think this is a serious matter and tend to believe the women who made those charges," CNN polling director Keating Holland said.

In the general population, 50 percent of Americans say they believe the women, not Cain. More women say they don't believe Cain, too.

"Not surprisingly, there is a big gender gap on this matter — women say this is a serious matter and believe the women, but men say the story has been overblown and are split on which side they believe," Holland said.

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's numbers held at 12 percent  in the survey, just one point less than a month ago. Although the poll was conducted after Perry's "oops" moment during last week's GOP debate in Michigan, his numbers show that, in September, 72 percent of Republicans said Perry was presidential material. A majority still believe that, but that number has dropped 14 points, according to the poll, indicating his 'oops' may have had an impact on voters.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas ranked at 8 percent in the poll, with Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at 6 percent, and former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania each at 3 percent.

Editor’s Note: Romney VS. Gingrich. Pick One or Pick Neither. Vote Now

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