Poll: GOP shakeup in South Carolina
October 11th, 2011
10:56 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: GOP shakeup in South Carolina

(CNN) – Businessman Herman Cain has edged out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the first primary state of the South, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The conservative radio talk show host received 26% support in the Palmetto State poll, only one percentage point ahead of Romney and within the margin of error for the American Research Group survey, indicating the two are statistically tied.

South Carolina is slated to go fourth in the nation's primary and caucus calendar, preceded by Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.

The longest-serving Texas Gov. Rick Perry placed third with 15% support, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8%, Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 7%, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 5%.

With 12% of likely primary voters undecided in the poll, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum received 1% support and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer did not net enough backing to constitute a percentage.

The results reflect a southern shakeup in standings among the GOP field. Just three months ago Romney placed first followed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who has since announced she's out of the race for the 2012 nomination, Bachmann, who's seen her popularity fall following a big win in the Ames straw poll, and Herman Cain in fourth.

When the survey is narrowed to Republican respondents who consider themselves likely primary voters, Cain and Romney are tied at 27% each.

Among tea party supporters, Cain, a favorite in the tea party movement, takes the lead with 35% support, followed by Perry, and with Romney in third. But among those who are not tea party supporters or are undecided about the movement, the top four shifts with Romney in the lead at 33% followed by Cain, Perry, and Paul.

The American Research Group survey was conducted among 600 likely GOP primary voters including Republicans, Democrats, and independents. Respondents were questioned by telephone from October 5-10. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Also see:

Debate the first showdown since dramatic changes in GOP field

Romney camp labels Perry a 'desperate candidate'

New website, old attacks on Romney


Filed under: 2012 • GOP • Herman Cain • Mitt Romney • Polls • South Carolina
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. DVoice12

    The conservatives/republicans will never vote for a black canidate, simple as that. It is against their conservative principles and ideology.

    October 11, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. d

    Wow...i am not a fan of any of them...but cain? really ? he should be tanking just by the comment about blaming yourself if you are unemployed...then there is the dozy of the 99 % people being enviuos of the rich...what a crock these people are.

    October 11, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. gerr

    I am an Independent. Would like to hear about Herman from people who knew him "back in the day>. Has he disassociated himself from his supposed modest beginnings. He did,of course, progress during a period when universities and business found it fashionable to have a token black. He seems to have developed alone the same line a supreme court justice. He definitely ignorant of the fact 100% employment is impossible in capitalism and has never addressed the historic roll of society in life.

    October 11, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. encore

    I hope Herb cain win so we can make history again two black men running for president now that"s what you call history.

    October 11, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. gerr

    Frankly, he sounds like an effete snob.

    October 11, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Conservative or not, a black man is not going to win a republican primary in S.C.

    October 11, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Woman In California

    Cain will NEVER be the nominee of the (R) party. Make no mistake about it.

    October 11, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Sandy

    They will never vote for Cain. They are just using him to say "see we're not prejudiced." Why are the big money donors not backing Cain and instead backing Perry who is slipping in the polls? No big donor backers for Cain says to me that they do not consider him a serious candidate.

    October 11, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    What is the flavor this week?

    October 11, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    I hope Mr. Cain understands the conservative electorate better than he understands the black electorate. Tonight's debate is going to make or break him for the next few weeks. I think it is going to be a crash and burn. Mr. Cain and diplomacy do not fit together in the same sentence.

    October 11, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. likeitga

    I'm supporting Herman, it's time for real change and career politicians are on the way out. Imagine how many local businessman and businesswoman are watching and considering running for office based on the success that Herman has had. Herman will clean Obamas clock and i can't wait to see it.

    October 11, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. likeitga

    How can you say "Cain will NEVER be the nominee of the (R)", "Conservative or not, a black man is not going to win a republican primary in S.C.", "The conservatives/republicans will never vote for a black canidate, simple as that. It is against their conservative principles and ideology." If this is so explain to me how the previous chairman of the Republican party was Black? No one thought we'd have a non-white president and we do. Why don't you take race out of it and look at policy, educate yourselves.

    October 11, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. A Repulbican

    This is great. I can't wait for the elections. This guy is fooling everyone, its going to be the best con in the history of politics, and that's saying something. But hey if we nominate him we only have our selves to blame. Go Cain!

    October 11, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. G

    There is no hope for the GOP in 2012.

    October 11, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Noodle Nose Johnson

    "Herman will clean Obamas clock and i can't wait to see it." Hilarious! It's entirely possible that Herman Cain won't even be in the race by South Carolina. Love the delusional right wing.

    October 11, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. terry

    Sandy

    They will never vote for Cain. They are just using him to say "see we're not prejudiced." Why are the big money donors not backing Cain and instead backing Perry who is slipping in the polls? No big donor backers for Cain says to me that they do not consider him a serious candidate. Sandy great post this is so so true

    October 11, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    What's really amazing is that the TeaPers actually thought Rick Perry was ready to go national. For all their talking point bravado, it can't sit well with them now that they only have Cain left to fall back on.

    October 11, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Mark

    an Cain is a very dangerous man. I've seen several interviews with him and he constantly talks about "what he believes but has no proof". This kind of thinking does not need to be talking with foreign dignitaries. If you have no facts or proof, there is no substance. I think Herman Cain is working to overthrow our government and is anti-American. I have no proof but that's what I think!

    October 11, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Joe

    Interesting that, in a such a racist right wing fundamentalist state, the phobia of mormons trumps the phobia of black men. I wonder how they would react if Cain were a mormon? Or a muslim?

    October 11, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |