Watchwoman on the Wall

Herman Cain did well in last week’s GOP debate and won a decisive straw poll victory in Florida, but his numbers in a general election match-up against President Obama are little changed.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that Obama earns 39% support while Cain attracts 34%. In that match-up, 14% prefer some other candidate, and 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

month ago,  the president led Cain by seven percentage points. In March Obama held an 18 point advantage over the businessman and talk show host.

Data released earlier today shows that voters nationwide are evenly divided as to whether or not Cain is qualified to be president  — 30% say yes, 33% no, and 37% are not sure. Republicans, by a 49% to 17% margin believe he is qualified while most Democrats disagree. Among Republicans, Cain’s numbers on this question are similar to Rick Perry’s but not as strong as Mitt Romney’s.

In a match-up against President Obama, just 61% of Republicans are ready to vote for Cain. Eighteen percent (18%) would prefer a third option and 11% are not sure. Among unaffiliated voters, 33% prefer Cain, 31% Obama, and 36% aren’t ready to commit to either candidate.

Rasmussen Reports regularly updates data on potential Election 2012 match-ups. Beginning Saturday, October 1, these articles will be available to subscribers only. Subscriptions are available for $3.95 a month or $34.95 annually. For those who sign up before Saturday, a pre-launch discount of 58% is available.  To view the most recent match-up results between President Obama and Republican hopefuls, see the table below.

Obama 39% Cain 34% Sep 26-27, 2011
Obama 44% Paul 34% Sep 24-25, 2011
Obama 44% Perry 38% Sep 22-23, 2011
Obama 48% Bachmann 32% Sep 20-21, 2011
Obama 44% Romney 41% Sep 18-19, 2011
Obama 43% Huntsman 35% Sep 16-17, 2011
Obama 47% Palin 35% Aug 31-Sep 1, 2011
Obama 45% Santorum 31% July 10-11, 2011
Obama 48% Gingrich 30% June 24-25, 2011

Generic Republican consistently leads the president by single digits in weekly polling. Rasmussen Reports updates that number every Tuesday at 3 pm Eastern. Additionally, numbers for the Generic Congressional Ballot    are updated every Monday at 3 pm Eastern and the number who believe the country is heading in the right direction gets updated Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

The president’s Job Approval ratings are updated daily. Generally speaking, the president’s Job Approval on Election Day is a good estimate of his vote total. However, it must be noted that the president’s Job Approval ratings may shift significantly between now and Election 2012.

Texas Governor Rick Perry led race for the 2012 GOP nomination in the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll. That poll, however, was conducted before Cain’s straw poll victory.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 26-27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Voters who are uncommitted to the major party candidates tend to among disapprove of the way the president is doing his job. More than 80% of likely Republican Primary voters say it is likely Perry or Romney will beat the president in the general election.

Romney is the runaway leader in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination in New Hampshire, home of next year’s first presidential primary.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

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