A Rasmussen Reports poll Tuesday night of likely South Carolina Republican primary voters has Herman Cain with 33% support, Mitt Romney at 23% and Newt Gingrich at 15%. Rick Perry garnered nine percent (9%) of the likely primary vote, Ron Paul five percent (5%) and Michele Bachmann two percent (2%). Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman each had one percent (1%). The poll was taken after news of the allegations of sexual harassment by Cain were made public, and only 28 percent of Republicans in SC believe the allegations are Very Likely true or Somewhat Likely true.
According to the Rasmussen blog post on the poll:
If it was just a two-man race in South Carolina, Cain leads Romney 50% to 37%, and he leads Perry 56% to 27%. Romney leads Perry 49% to 30% in that two-way matchup.It is beyond astounding to me that Jon Huntsman, with a much more impressive political resume (from a conservative viewpoint) than Mitt Romney (or anyone else in the race on the GOP side) is mired where he is in national polling, while Herman Cain is where he is. I presume my Republican friends were just as astounded four years ago with Barack Obama's polling numbers. Still, you would think that there would be many more Republicans willing to accept Huntsman's more enlightened views on no-tax pledges, foreign policy, global warming and same sex union as representing a more mainstream Republican approach to governing.
Forty-four percent (44%) believe Romney is most likely to win the Republican presidential nomination. Twenty-five percent (25%) expect to see Cain as the nominee, while 10% think Perry will come back to win the race.
Turnout is always a key factor in primary campaigns. Among those absolutely certain to show up and vote, 35% prefer Cain, 21% Romney and 17% Gingrich.
Among those who are Very Conservative, Cain attracts 40% of the vote with Newt Gingrich a distant second at 22%. Among those who are Somewhat Conservative, it’s Cain at 31% and Romney at 27%. As for those who are moderate or liberal, Romney holds a four-point advantage over Cain.
In 2008, during the final week leading up to the South Carolina primary, voters for less successful candidates peeled away from their first choice to vote for one of the two frontrunners. In that race, it was the eventual nominee John McCain and the second place finisher Mike Huckabee.