A new Fox News poll finds former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at the top of the Republican field with 23 percent of the vote, just a hair ahead of Mitt Romney, who pulls 22 percent. Meanwhile, Herman Cain slid 9 points since the previous month’s poll, and now occupies third place with 15 percent.
The Fox poll, conducted by phone among registered voters from November 13-15, has the race looking like this:
Newt Gingrich 23%
Mitt Romney 22%
Herman Cain 15%
Ron Paul 8%
Rick Perry 7%
Michele Bachmann 6%
Jon Huntsman 3%
Rick Santorum 2%
Gingrich had an enormous surge, from 12% and third place on October 25th to 23% today. He doesn’t do very well on the “likeable” scale, notching 8% for a fourth-place finish behind Rick Perry’s 9%, while Romney and Cain sit at the top with 26% and 25% respectively. Evidently, Republican voters want a smart S.O.B. who will take Barack Obama apart during the debates.
On the other hand, only Romney beats Obama in a head-to-head match-up, 44-42. Cain loses 38-47, while Gingrich loses 41-46.
Romney remains perched on his 20-23% rock of ages. Paul and Santorum are holding fairly steady as well. Perry slipped a little more, Bachmann jumped from 3% to 6%, and Huntsman isn’t an asterisk any more.
The pool of undecided voters is down to 14%, while 60% of respondents said they might change their minds about who they support, so things should get interesting once the primaries start knocking second-tier candidates out of the race.