Herman Cain Leads Republican Field In Zogby Poll


A new Zogby poll puts Herman Cain at the top of the Republican field, as the top choice of 28% of poll respondents.  (IBOPE Zogby International says the polling sample consists of “all likely voters and of likely Republican primary voters.”) 

Rounding out the top three are Rick Perry at 18%, and Mitt Romney at 17%.  Fourth place goes to Ron Paul at 11%.  Paul’s the most solid performer in Zogby’s polling history for the 2012 GOP race – his 11% might as well be chiseled in stone.

Interestingly, this poll was conducted after the Orlando GOP debate, but before Cain won the Florida straw poll.  It’s a huge surge for Cain, who was polling at 12% just two weeks previously, and was floating at a campaign low of 8% two weeks before that.  Aside from that bitter 8% number, Cain has generally done quite well in the Zogby poll, usually good enough for second or third place.

On the other hand, Rick Perry’s numbers in the Zogby poll have cratered, falling 19% in just two weeks.  His debut last month was also his high-water mark thus far, when Zogby had him at 41%. 

Michelle Bachmann has also been slipping steadily, chugging in at 4%.  That puts her just below Jon Huntsman, which is the same way she finished the Florida straw poll.  Bachmann was actually the leading candidate in Zogby’s polling from June 21 through July 25… then she plunged to 9% in the next poll and continued sliding down from there.

Romney’s been holding fairly steady in the Zogby poll.  He bounces a few points up and down, but seems to hover in the 15-17% range. 

Zogby’s also got President Obama’s approval rating at 42%, with 57% disapproval.  That’s actually a bit better than his September 5 low of 39-61.  His poor approval numbers seem to hold fairly steady, while his disapproval bounces around.

As always with poll news, the usual caveats apply: it’s one poll, it might be an outlier, Zogby’s accuracy has been questioned in the past, et cetera.  Still, these numbers reflect the general shape of the race pretty well: Perry started big but fizzled fast, Romney’s been playing a careful game built around damage control, Paul’s got a loyal following but can’t reach beyond it. 

 I’d have guessed Cain would rank a bit lower than his Zogby numbers until now, but he had one of the best weekends a candidate could ask for in Orlando, and Zobgy’s poll is telling us the same thing the Florida straw poll did.  It will be interesting to compare the first batch of polls from various sources to reflect that straw poll, and Cain’s reaction to it.