Unlikely Voter

Poll Analysis and Election Projection

The Rollercoaster goes back down for Herman Cain

We saw last week that Herman Cain was on his way up before the Politico story, and fell off slightly afterward.

Friday brought us a new poll which reinforces past conclusions. Yes, he really was on the way down last week, despite raising money in the seven figures.

The facts: ABC News/Washington Post poll by Langer Research Associates and Abt-SRBI, 438 leaning Republican RVs, MoE 5.5. Mobile and landline handling.

Mitt Romney leads the poll. In fact, he’s unchanged since the last ABC polls from the beginning of October and the beginning of September. He’s at 25 to Cain’s 23 (up 6 from a month ago). Two other candidates in double figures: Rick Perry at 14 (down 3), Newt Gingrich at 12 (up 3).

So all the trends in this poll are about where we expect them to be at this point. Mitt Romney has his core that he’s held onto, but that core isn’t growing. At this point, has Romney won over as a first choice every Republican he’s going to win over?

Cain at 23 though has his lowest reading in a national poll in about a month. Now it’s possible this particular poll is understating Cain’s performance, for Cain to be so much lower than he is in the other polls, while Perry is markedly higher than he’s been in about a month. It’s also possible some minds have changed.

I continue to conclude that based on last week, Cain needs this story to be over. And he seems to agree, given his recent statements to the effect of “End of story. Back on message.” But like a scientist constantly calling for more research, I eagerly await more polling.

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