Businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lead the Republican field in the race for victory in Iowa’s first in the nation caucuses according to a new poll from the Des Moines Register.
The poll of likely caucus-goers is the paper’s first since June — when Romney and Rep. Michele Bachmann led the field. Since, Bachmann’s support has eroded, Texas Gov. Rick Perry surged and collapsed, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty quit the race.
Cain earned the support of 23 per cent of those polled, up from 10 per cent in June, while Romney came in with 22 per cent. Cain’s surge in Iowa has largely tracked his growing national appeal, while Romney’s support has remained constant in the Hawkeye State and around the country.
Rep. Ron Paul is the only other candidate polling in double-digits, while Perry ties former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for fifth place, with seven per cent.
Other than Jon Huntsman, Romney and Cain have spent the least time in Iowa this cycle — though Romney maintains a strong organisation from his 2008 run for the White House when he invested heavily in the state.
Cain does not yet have the organisation required to win a caucus across Iowa’s 1,784 precincts — which usually involve hundreds of precinct captains, county chairs, and other volunteers — and there are few signs that his campaign is planning to devote the necessary resources to the state.
Romney is expected to spend more time in the state in a move to win the two early voting states — and effectively lock up the nomination in mid-January.
The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
- Cain 23
- Romney 22
- Paul 12
- Bachmann, 8
- Gingrich 7
- Perry 7
- Rick Santorum 5
- Jon Huntsman 1
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