Cain Still on Top Among Republicans for the GOP Primary, but Gingrich Surges

By Harris Interactive, Special for US Daily Review.

The candidates may be spending Thanksgiving in Iowa or New Hampshire instead of at home this year as the primary calendar quickly comes to an end with just six weeks until the first votes are cast.  As noted last month, each month the story line seems to take a new shift, and yet again this month we have another new story with the rise of Newt Gingrich.

Among Republicans, one in five (19%) would vote for Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain in the GOP primary while 16% would vote for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and 15% would vote for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Other candidates are all under 10% including Rick Perry (9%), Ron Paul (5%), Michele Bachman (2%), Jon Huntsman (2%), Rick Santorum (1%) and Gary Johnson at less than 1%. Three in ten Republicans (30%), 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 2,499 adults surveyed online between November 7 and 14, 2011 by Harris Interactive .

Among Independents, 15% would vote for Mitt Romney, 13% for Herman Cain and 11% for Ron Paul with 7% voting for Newt Gingrich. Two in five Independents (40%) are not at all sure who they would vote for in the primary. Among Conservatives, one in five (19%) say they would vote for Herman Cain, 15% would vote for Newt Gingrich and 12% for Mitt Romney. Just under one-quarter of Tea Party supporters (23%) would vote for Herman Cain in the Republican primary, 14% would each vote for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich while 27% are not at all sure.

Showing there is some concern among party faithful about the candidates, when asked which candidate they would never vote for, each candidate has almost one in five Republicans and Conservatives saying they would never vote for them. Among the front-runners, one in five Republicans (19%) and one-quarter of Conservatives (24%) would never vote for Mitt Romney. One-quarter of both Republicans (25%) and Conservatives (26%) would never vote for Herman Cain while 23% of both Conservatives and Republicans would never vote for Newt Gingrich.

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, 41% would vote for Mitt Romney and 18% are not at all sure. This is very close to last month when 41% said they would vote for the President and 40% would vote for Mitt Romney. Looking at the probable swing states for 2012, 44% of people from those states would vote for Mitt Romney and 39% would vote for President Obama while 17% are not at all sure.

If Ron Paul is the eventual Republican nominee, 40% of Americans would vote for President Obama and 38% would vote for Ron Raul with one in five (21%) not at all sure. Last month, 41% said they would vote for the President and 36% for Ron Paul. Among the swing states for next year 44% would vote for Ron Paul and 36% would vote for President Obama, with 20% not at all sure.

Between Rick Perry and President Obama, 44% of U.S. adults would vote for the President while 38% would vote for the Texas Governor and one in five Americans (19%) say they are not at all sure. In October, 45% said they would vote for President Obama and 36% for Rick Perry. In the 2012 swing states, more than two in five (43%) would vote for President Obama and 39% would vote for Rick Perry.

Herman Cain may still be on top among the Republican nominees, but in a head to head match-up he is the farthest behind the President as 44% of Americans would vote for President Obama and 34% would vote for Herman Cain with 22% saying they are not at all sure.  Among the 2012 swing states, 43% would vote for the President while 37% would vote for Herman Cain.

So What?

Ah, Thanksgiving; the time of year which traditionally brings families together around the table to celebrate and give thanks. But this year it also means the beginning of the final few weeks of campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire before the first votes are cast. As the candidates compete with holiday planning to get voters’ attention, one thing to stress is how they will do in a general election. Here Mitt Romney clearly has the best story, with Ron Paul a close second. While Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich may be doing well in the primary, the real question for Republicans is can they beat President Obama? Right now the answer appears to be no.

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 Nov

2011

Political Party Political Philosophy Tea Party Support
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
Mitt Romney 14 16 15 15 12 16 14 14
Herman Cain 11 19 5 13 19 9 3 23
Ron Paul 8 5 7 11 7 8 10 8
Newt Gingrich 7 15 2 7 15 5 1 14
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 6 2 10 5 2 6 12 2
Rick Perry 4 9 2 4 7 3 3 7
Michele Bachmann 2 2 2 2 2 1 5 3
Gary Johnson 1 * 1 1 1 * 2 *
Rick Santorum * 1 * * 1 * * *
Not at all sure 47 30 58 40 35 53 51 27
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than 0.5%


TABLE 2
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES PEOPLE WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR
“Assuming these were candidates in the 2012 presidential election, who would you never vote for?”

Base: All adults

Total Nov

2011

Political Party Political Philosophy Tea Party Support
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
Michele Bachmann 48 32 65 49 28 53 70 29
Herman Cain 42 25 61 39 26 43 66 22
Newt Gingrich 42 23 63 39 23 44 69 22
Rick Perry 38 18 57 36 21 39 62 19
Ron Paul 32 27 40 31 30 29 44 26
Rick Santorum 30 16 43 31 19 30 50 21
Mitt Romney 28 19 38 26 24 27 39 22
Gary Johnson 27 23 34 24 23 25 37 22
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 26 23 31 23 24 24 32 22
I would vote for all of these candidates 18 24 8 17 24 18 10 24
Note: Percentages may not add up to 10047% due to rounding; * indicates less than 0.5%

TABLE 3A
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 Oct Total

Nov

Party ID Philosophy
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
Mitt Romney 40 41 82 11 45 71 34 10
Barack Obama 41 41 6 81 33 11 45 80
Not at all sure 18 18 13 9 22 18 22 10
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 3B
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 41 36 92 44 43
Barack Obama 41 37 39 41
Not at all sure 18 27 8 17 16
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; – indicates no response
TABLE 4A
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 Oct Total Nov Party ID Philosophy
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
Barack Obama 45 44 6 83 40 11 51 80
Rick Perry 36 38 80 7 40 70 28 8
Not at all sure 19 19 14 10 21 18 22 12
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 4B
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
% % % % %
Barack Obama 44 49 43 45
Rick Perry 38 30 93 39 38
Not at all sure 19 22 7 18 18
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; – indicates no response
TABLE 5A
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 Oct Total Nov Party ID Philosophy
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
Barack Obama 41 40 6 80 34 10 45 78
Ron Paul 36 38 73 9 44 67 31 11
Not at all sure 23 21 21 10 22 23 25 11
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding


TABLE 5B
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
% % % % %
Barack Obama 40 40 36 38
Ron Paul 38 37 84 44 43
Not at all sure 21 24 16 20 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; – indicates no response
TABLE 6A
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 Oct Total

Nov

Party ID Philosophy
Rep. Dem. Ind. Cons. Mod. Lib.
% % % % % % % %
Barack Obama 43 44 7 82 40 12 49 83
Herman Cain 35 34 71 7 37 66 26 4
Not at all sure 22 22 22 11 23 22 25 13
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 6B
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
% % % % %
Barack Obama 44 47 43 45
Herman Cain 34 30 93 37 36
Not at all sure 22 24 7 19 20
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; – indicates no response

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 7 and 14, 2011 among 2,499 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.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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