Before Debate, Cain Led Field In South Carolina And Tied Romney In Florida

Cain Romney

A new NBC/Marist poll shows just how big of a threat businessman Herman Cain was to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney before last night’s CNN debate — leading the Republican field in South Carolina, and tying Romney in Florida.

Both states are potentially determinative in this race, coming right on the heels of the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary — and test a candidates strength among social conservatives and general election appeal, respectively.

While Cain’s candidacy appears to be fading, the other Republican candidates have a long way to go to if they want to pose a threat to Romney: Among likely primary voters in South Carolina, Cain led 30 per cent to Romney’s 26 per cent. In Florida, Cain and Romney were in a statistical tie, with 32 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively. No other candidate polled above single-digits in either early state.

Read the full poll results here >

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