With the new Fox News poll, Newt Gingrich’s poll trend now puts him in first place in the GOP national polls. Gingrich now leads Romney 21.9% to 20.5%. Given the considerable volatility we’ve seen all year in the polls this difference is certainly not “significant” but it further illustrates how dynamic the GOP race has been and continues to be.
Meanwhile, Herman Cain’s support continues to plummet, down to 15% in the Fox poll and a trend estimate of 17.6% (but with recent polls below the trend, suggesting the likelihood of further decline.)
After two bad weeks or so, Herman Cain’s surge in the polls has now reversed and started sharply down. Days after accusations of inappropriate behavior with women surfaced, Cain’s support among GOP voters seemed to remain steady. But several new polls taken in the last week have shown a clear and rather sharp downturn in support. Cain now is trending below 20 percent support and the most recent polls are below trend.
Replacing Cain in 2nd place for the GOP nomination is Newt Gingrich, now at 19.8% in the trend estimate. Gingrich has shown considerable variability in his polling this year but the current surge is much more clear than any past movement in his support.
And so the story of 2011 continues. Republicans continue to sample one candidate after another as an alternative to Mitt Romney, who continues with stable polling in first place, but not by much. Will Gingrich be the last “not-Romney” alternative to surge?
Herman Cain’s surge since the Florida straw poll has now moved him into first place in the GOP nomination race, based on my trend estimate of support. Cain now leads Romney 25.5% to 23.7%. This includes a new NBC/WSJ poll that puts Cain at 27% to Romney’s 23, and a PPP poll putting Cain at 30% to Romney’s 22%. Another new poll, by Reuters/Ipsos has Romney ahead, 23% to 19%. And today’s Rasmussen has a 29-29 tie.
What all the recent polls agree on is that Cain is enjoying a huge surge while Romney remains stable in the 20%-25% range.
We’ve seen these surges throughout the GOP race this year. Here is an update of my previous chart of GOP surges. Cain has not yet reached the levels Perry jumped to, but he now eclipses the Trump and Bachmann surges.
With the increased support comes increased scrutiny, which we’ve already seen since Tuesday’s debate and this flurry of new polls. Will Cain be the first not-Romney candidate to sustain his surge, or fall back as the others have done? Stay tuned.