Gallup: Herman Cain Challenges Mitt Romney Among GOP Hopefuls

Gallup: Herman Cain Challenges Mitt Romney Among GOP Hopefuls


How much of a toss up is the GOP nomination right now in these early stages? The title says it all.

Here’s the graph from Gallup, and note how far Rick Perry has fallen.

Forgive me, but this is the type of horserace stuff I find extremely interesting. Because while Herman Cain’s numbers may be the big story here…I think there are two numbers that mean much more.

First, Ron Paul dropped 5 points. Yes, that may not seem like much, but we’re talking nearly 30% of his support.

Second, note the undecided column has jumped by 10%. So GOPers shifted away from Perry, away from Romney, away from Paul and to Cain, but away from EVERYBODY.

I don’t see anybody entering the race at this point since Palin has said she’s done, and there’s a big time enthusiasm gap right now. And with Iowa’s caucuses likely being pushed to December because of all of the primary moves recently, there’s not much time to organize and make things happen.

Do know I think Romney will take it and ultimately lose because he’s the John Kerry of the Republican party…only less politically successful…but it’s an interesting trend nonetheless.

Oh, and Herman Cain doesn’t have a chance in hell to get the nomination. Count on that.

  • Tully

    I’d be wary of making any predictions before the first caucus. Remember that this time four years ago conventional “wisdom” was that the nominees would be Clinton and Giuliani. :-)

  • Rimless

    I agree with you somewhat on this, but how can you say Herman Cain doesn’t have a chance? Let’s hope he does because I believe he could be the one to put Obama out! It would be like a schoolboy being schooled! Race can’t be an issue either. Herman Cain has also made a living being a “listener” which is something we haven’t had. It couldn’t hurt to entertain the thought, right?

  • Tully

    In fact, checking my notes, at this time four years ago McCain and Obama were both running in 3rd place in their respective parties. Second places were held by Thompson and Edwards.

  • cranky critter

    Right. Far too much is being made of volatile national polls. They report it that way because it seems more exciting that way. But the identity of the eventual nominee and the REAL prospects of the candidates are sensitively dependent on the outcomes of the first 3 to 5 to 7 caucuses and primaries. National polls can’t be dismissed of course, but they do little to tell us where these folks will stand at the end of january.

    Perry haters are eager to sweep him off the map, but his viability will be determined most by the first 1 or 2 southern contests: SC, and I think Florida, not sure. But the current meme is that Perry has a lot at stake in the upcoming NH debate. But he can be an also-ran in NH and still contend in the primary. It’s true that current national polls suggest Perry may be weak in the general election. But that’s not the contest right now.

    Romney is going to be strong in primaries in blue states. And that is going to become a negative issue for him in red states. I see this narrowing to a 2 person race between Romney as the de facto moderate and 1 standard bearer for the hardcore conservative wing. Unless Ron Paul has enough support to swing things to Romney. One more thing: I have a sneaky suspicion Newt Gingrich sees his role as trying to direct the outcome whichever way the top party insiders want. When he answers questions outside the bios to big applause lines, he’s trying to direct traffic.

  • cranky critter

    Who called “pig pile on Cain?” That’s what last night’s debate coverage is portraying anyway.

  • Tully

    All you have to do to be THE target is to poll at the top immediately before the debate.

    Could Bachman possibly have done a better deranged Church Lady imitation with her “666” line?

  • Jennn Fusion

    Astute analysis, Cranky Critter! Tully – HA HA – 666 was totally funny… and what about Huntsman saying he thought it was “the price of a pizza”!?! That really got Cain riled up.

  • khaki

    Cain is surging because the evangelical wing is wringing their hands at the notion of a Mormon nominee. They are desperately seeking an alternative and their search is marked by the rising and falling poll numbers among Romney’s competition: Bachman, then Perry, now Cain. When it’s all said and done, Romney will get the nomination, and the hard right base (including that rubber faced leader of the Southern Baptist Convention) will hold their nose and vote for the “cult” member. Obama has cause to worry. I think Romney may earn some sympathy from centrists if religion is made an issue. In fact, it may even be seen by some left leaning moderates as a kind of “liberal” thing to do to vote for non-traditional religion. Also, Romney’s flip flopping may help him in a way. His lack of conviction about social causes may make him seem less “scary” to moderates. When he talks about being against abortion, or even repealing Health Care Reform it makes me think, “Yeah, but he doesn’t really mean it…” Or alternatively, he’ll be viewed as so inauthentic that he is unable to muster the enthusiasm needed to win. It’s hard to say. In the end I think economic data will matter more than anything else regardless of whose nominated.

  • cranky critter

    The Tea Party+Socon portion of the party needs to unite around a single standard bearer very soon in order to mount a viable challenge to Romney. And Ron Paul is a real fly in that ointment with his steady 10%. I still think Perry is the only one who could successfully be that rightward alternative to Romney. That’s the only way the GOp primaries matter into March. But if the outcome is still in doubt come the ides of March, it’s gonna be ugly.

  • Tully

    It’s always ugly.

    The polls show a generic unnamed Republican beating Obama by a wide magin. Unfortunately for the GOP, they don’t get to run a generic unnamed Republican.

    Captcha is just getting weirder here. I keep looking for the Omega and square-root symbols on my keyboard, and they still aren’t there!

  • mdgeorge

    I agree with khaki and others. I’d also add trump to the list…