(CNN) - A new poll puts Herman Cain ahead of Mitt Romney by seven percentage points in the GOP presidential race, reflecting a margin wider than the sampling error.
Cain and Romney competed for the top spot in national polls for much of October, but a Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday shows Cain breaking ahead to take a solid lead.
Cain took 30% of support among registered Republican voters, according to the survey, with Romney following at 23%.
The poll, taken almost entirely before reports emerged of sexual allegations against Cain, also reveals Cain leading in a hypothetical matchup against Romney, 47% to 39%.
But Romney fared better than Cain in a hypothetical contest with President Barack Obama, scoring 42% to Obama's 47%. Cain came in at 40%, against Obama at 50%.
Also significant, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich came in third with 10% of support, up from the mid-single digit status he's maintained in recent months.
The poll reflects a recent uptick in fundraising for Gingrich, who touted bringing in more money in October than in the previous three months combined.
Coming in fourth place, Texas Gov. Rick Perry had 8%. Texas Rep. Ron Paul followed at 7%, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 4%, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 2% and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 1%.
For the Republican presidential poll, Quinnipiac surveyed 869 Republican voters from Oct. 25-Oct. 31, with a sampling error of 3.3 percentage points.
The poll also showed big gains in Obama's approval ratings, jumping from a 41% approval rating in the first week of October to a 47% approval rating in the poll released this week.
Quinnipiac surveyed a total 2,294 registered voters over the telephone from Oct. 25-Oct. 31, with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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A womanizer as President. Great, where have I seen that one before.
CAIN is not ABLE to beat President Obama.... PLEASE let him be the candidate. This is one of the MAIN REASONS why this latest 'debunkle" with his SEX ISSUES did not come from the LEFT. We could care less about that and we want to see him go up against President Obama. Especially since Coulter, Hannity and Limbarugh believes that THEIR Blacks are "better than" the LEFT's Blacks!!!!!!! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It looks like Rove's plan to 'swift boat' Herb may have temporarily backfired.
Cain's going to go down in flames due to his treatment of women. Romeny? Well, he treats all his wives well.
Romney is the only one that can come out of this group and possibly get the nomination, there is little hope for Cain or Perry and although Huntsman is the brains of the group he cant get past his dole personality and gain any traction.Romney has made a career out of running for POTUS and can claim he has created at least one job for himself, but in the end he is just an elite trying to buy his way to the highest job in the land.People are really starting to realize that Republicans are a complete failure and have been for the past 30 years when it comes to economics so it is not realistic to think they will be rewarded with the Whitehouse.