Polls: Cain, Romney Ahead in Early Southern States
Herman Cain narrowly leads the first-in-the-South Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, and he and Mitt Romney run neck-and-neck in the crucial state of Florida, which will also hold its primary in January, according to new NBC News/Marist polls released early Wednesday.
In the Palmetto State, which holds its primary on January 21, Cain leads Romney among likely primary voters, 31 percent to 28 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his candidacy in South Carolina, but he earns only ten percent of the vote. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is fourth with seven percent, followed by Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Ron Paul, R-Texas, who are at five percent. Ten percent of likely voters are undecided.
Fifty-three percent of likely GOP voters in South Carolina either do not believe Mormons are Christians, or say they are unsure, a potential liability for Romney in the state.
Florida holds its primary ten days after South Carolina, and the NBC News/Marist poll shows that Cain and Romney are -- at this moment -- leading the rest of the field by a significant margin. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is at 33 percent, leading the former Godfather's Pizza CEO by just a point. Perry is back at nine percent, followed by Paul and Gingrich at six percent. Eight percent of Sunshine State primary voters are undecided.