New poll shows Cain pulling ahead in Iowa

Herman Cain leads the Republican presidential field in Iowa, according to a new poll released Thursday. 

The Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG poll found that the former Godfather's Pizza CEO leads the GOP field in Iowa with the support of 24.5 percent of Republican voters. Cain is followed by Ron Paul with 20.4 percent of the vote, then Mitt Romney with 16.3 percent. 

The poll's findings are somewhat in contrast with a number of recent national polls that found Cain's recent front-runner or near-front-runner status disappearing in light of allegations that he sexually harassed a number of women while he was president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

Newt Gingrich seemed to take Cain's place in the lead of the GOP field either just behind or even ahead of Mitt Romney. But the Iowa poll found Gingrich near the back of the pack in the coveted primary state. The poll found Gingrich with 4.8 percent of Republican voters, behind Rick Perry with 7.9 percent and Michele Bachmann with 7.6 percent.

According to the poll, though, Gingrich leads Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. The poll found Santorum with 4.7 percent and Huntsman with no support.

The poll surveyed 979 Republican voters and 277 independents and was taken from Nov. 1-13, after the first sexual harassment allegations against Cain broke in late October.