Washington, Oct 5 : Texas Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry is collapsing, businessman Herman Cain is surging and Mitt Romney is holding steady at the top, a new poll has found.
Politico quoted a CBS poll as saying that Cain's tied for first place with Romney at 17 percent each. That is a 12-point jump from the last CBS poll two weeks ago. Perry is in third with 12 percent, while 18 percent say they are undecided or don't know which candidate they prefer.
Without Christie, a Quinnipiac University national poll puts Romney in first with 22 percent, followed by Cain with 17 percent and Perry at 14 percent.
A Washington Post-ABC poll also out earlier in the day showed the former Godfather's Pizza CEO tied for second with the Texas governor, at 16 percent each, behind Romney, who pulls 25 percent.
Both Quinnipiac and the Post-ABC poll validate a Fox News poll, released late last week, that showed Romney at 23 percent, Perry at 19 percent and Cain at 17 percent.
Public Policy Polling announced on Tuesday afternoon that Cain leads the field in North Carolina, Nebraska and West Virginia. All three of the Democratic pollster's statewide surveys place Gingrich in second. Romney tied for second in the North Carolina survey, but lagged a couple points behind in the other two.
"The Republican race has always been pretty wide open, but never more so than it is now," the Director of the PPP poll, Tom Jensen, wrote in a Tuesday blog post, adding: "The fact that Cain and Gingrich, pretty much given up for dead just a few weeks ago, could have this kind of poll surge is really indicative of how weak anyone's support is right now - very few Republican voters are strongly committed to a particular candidate and most of them can shift in a heartbeat."
None of these three states have early primaries, of course, and national polls have little bearing on the final outcomes of presidential contests. The nomination will probably be decided after Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. But national polls are important to reflect general voter impressions of the candidates.
Gallup reported Tuesday that Cain has a positive intensity score of 30, the highest for any candidate this year. This number is the percentage with a strongly favorable opinion subtracted by the percentage with a strongly unfavorable view. Cain is up from 22 in early September.
Perry's image, meanwhile, has suffered after weeks of being attacked by his rivals. His positive intensity has dropped from 24 last month to 15 now.
Cain has been getting tons of buzz since his upset victory at the P5 straw poll in Orlando, Florida, 10 days ago. His national name identification is up to 55 percent.
"Cain's straw poll win, and his resulting gains in recognition and positive intensity, may have made him a legitimate contender for the Republican nomination in Republicans' eyes," Jeffrey Jones of Gallup wrote in a release accompanying the poll. (ANI)