Controversies and preferences aside, a new Gallup poll shows that 45 percent of Republican and Republican leaning voters believe that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is going to secure the GOP nomination in 2012. Only 13 percent of those surveyed believe that businessman Herman Cain would prevail. The remainder of the GOP field were in the single digits.
The survey was taken between Nov. 2-6, even as the recent sexual harassment allegations aimed at Herman Cain were surfacing. While Cain and Romney are still atop the leader board with 21 percent each, voters were asked not to state who they prefer, but rather who they believe is going to win the Republican nomination and face Barack Obama in the 2012 race for the White House.
Most polls have shown that GOP candidates other than Romney are laying claim to the more conservative GOP voter. Most notably, Tea Party supporters, who currently lean toward Cain over Romney, still believe that Romney will ultimately prevail. Additionally, non-Tea Party supporters are much more likely to favor Romney over Cain by a 2 to 1 margin, at 28 and 14 percent respectively.
Kyle Kondik, a senior policy advisor at The University of Virginia Center for Public Policy agrees with the polls findings.
“The reason most voters believe Romney will be the nominee is because no one has seriously stepped up to challenge him,” Kondik told The Christian Post. “We’ve been through most of the GOP bench and even though Romney struggles among conservatives, no one has been able to knock him down.”
Romney supporters believe overwhelmingly that he will win the nomination. However, only 42 percent of his supporters believe Cain will wear the Republican crown. Even more importantly, 38 percent of Cain supporters feel Romney will be the nominee.
“Most Republicans, regardless of their preference for a particular candidate, want to defeat President Obama next November,” said Kondik. “If they think Mitt Romney is the best choice – and many believe that’s the case – then they’ll support Mitt Romney. I don’t believe the majority of voters feel any of the other candidates, including Herman Cain, can beat President Obama.”
In spite of other candidate’s failure to run the Romney campaign into a ditch, the former Massachusetts governor has struggled to penetrate the evangelical voting block within the GOP.
“If he’s the only one left standing, then the mainstream GOP voters will fall in line and vote for him,” Kondik reiterated. “Unless something significant happens, it’s looking more and more likely that will be the case.”
Telephone survey were conducted with a random sample of 1,054 Republican voters between November 2-6, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.