Poll: Gingrich vaults to the top as Cain fades

ADVERTISEMENT
Gingrich, who stood at 12 percent only three weeks ago, came in at 23 percent, followed by Romney with 22 percent and Herman Cain with 15 percent.

That’s an 11 percent drop for Cain, who led in the October poll with 24 percent. That poll was taken before the sexual harassment allegations against him surfaced.

Ron Paul came in fourth place with 8 percent of the vote, followed by Rick Perry with 7 percent. This was the first Fox News poll to show Perry garner only single-digit support.

In another troubling sign for Romney, Gingrich blew away the field with 35 percent of Tea Party support, followed by Cain with 20 percent and Romney with 15 percent.

Romney has consistently won the support of centrists, but hasn’t been able to push above the mid-20 percent range in polls for early-voting states, where the electorate remains unconvinced of his conservative bona fides.

The one area where Romney stands well above the field is in his perceived electability. Thirty-seven percent view him as the most electable candidate, with the next closest being Gingrich at 17 percent.

The Fox News poll confirmed that finding, as Romney was the only GOP candidate to beat President Obama in a head-to-head match-up, narrowly defeating him by 2 percentage points. Obama beats Gingrich by 5 points and Cain by 9 in the same poll.

Still, 60 percent of likely GOP primary voters said they might change their minds, including more than half of Gingrich and Cain supporters, and nearly 70 percent of Romney supporters.