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Herman Cain Closes in on Mitt Romney While Rick Perry Stumbles

October 10, 2011 - 6:00pm

Two national polls released on Monday found former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts leading the pack of Republican presidential candidates -- and businessman Herman Cain right on his heels.

A Gallup poll released late on Monday had Romney in front of the pack with 20 percent and Cain as a close second with 18 percent. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas stood in third with 15 percent.

Compared to a Gallup poll taken in the middle of September -- before Cain scored an upset victory at the Presidency 5 straw poll hosted by the Republican Party of Florida in Orlando -- Cain has gained major momentum while Perry has lost more than half of his support. In the September poll, Perry led with 31 percent followed by Romney with 24 percent. Cain was in a three-way tie for fourth place with 5 percent.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who placed third in the September poll, took fourth in the new Gallup poll with 8 percent followed by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich who drew 7 percent. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota took 5 percent followed by former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania with 3 percent and former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah with 2 percent.

The poll of 1,064 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents was taken from Oct. 3-7 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

A poll released by the Washington Post and Bloomberg News earlier in the day found the same three candidates leading the Republican pack while the rest of the field trailed in single digits.

In the Washington Post/Bloomberg poll, Romney garnered 24 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents with Cain in second at 16 percent. Perry followed in third with 13 percent. Paul stood in fourth with 6 percent followed by Bachmann with 4 percent. Gingrich came in sixth with 3 percent followed by Santorum with 1 percent and Huntsman trailing with less than 1 percent. Twenty-nine percent had no preference.

When the Washington Post/Bloomberg poll looked at all adults, Romney again led the pack with 17 percent while Cain and Perry tied for second with 8 percent each. Paul took 7 percent followed by Bachmann with 6 percent. Gingrich took 3 percent followed by Huntsman with 2 percent and Santorum with 1 percent. Thirty-three percent of all adults had no preference in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Washington Post/Bloomberg poll of 1,000 adults was taken from Oct. 6-9 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The sample of 391 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents had a margin of error of +/- 6 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at or at (850) 727-0859.

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