If the 2012 Republican presidential primary were held today, conservative voters would prefer New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain as their nominee, a new poll found.
According to the IBOPE Zogby poll released Tuesday, 17 percent of GOP voters want Christie, who says he will not run for president in 2012 despite repeated urging from conservatives, to win the nomination. The poll found that Cain comes in second, with 14 percent. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was next, with 10 percent; the rest of the 10 or so names failed to get double digits.
But the IBOPE Zogby poll also found that 31 percent of GOP voters think former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whom 9 percent of Republican voters want to win the nomination, is most likely to actually get the nomination. He leads in that category with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, next in line with 8 percent of Republican voters.
The poll comes on the same day that Paul said he plans to announce this week whether or not he'll jump into the 2012 presidential race. He has only announced an exploratory committee thus far, not a formal bid.
The promising numbers for Cain, who is considered a dark-horse candidate, might have to do with his performance at the first Republican presidential debate in South Carolina last week. Right after the debate a small group of Republicans were asked who did the best, and the majority said Cain.