Cain (26 percent) also leads when respondents are asked which candidate is most likely to agree with them on the issues that matter most, ahead of Romney (21 percent) and Perry (26 percent). And asked which candidate is most likely to be able to get the economy moving, Cain leads with 33 percent, up from four percent five weeks ago.
The poll does show some modest progress for Romney. The percentage of Republicans that think Romney is the most likeable candidate is up eight points over the past five weeks, and while Perry's collapse in the polls begot the Cain surge, many of Cain's new supporters see Romney as the more likely GOP nominee and the more electable candidate in the general; those former Perry supporters favored the Texas governor on those questions last month.
The CNN/ORC International poll was conducted Oct. 14-16, surveying 416 registered Republican or Republican-leaning independent voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.8 percent.