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Herman Cain is out in front and by himself.
A new poll from CBS News and the New York Times shows that the former Godfather’s Pizza exec now leads the entire Republican field of presidential contenders in a national survey of likely GOP primary voters. Most noteworthy is his four-point lead over of longtime frontrunner Mitt Romney, 25-21.
The results, gathered between Oct. 19 and Oct. 24, are surprising because they come after a particularly rough week for Cain. Following an uninspired debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 18, Cain tweaked his “9-9-9” tax plan after getting lambasted by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and was later accused of faltering on his pro-life position.
So why did Cain jump eight points after being tied with Romney at 17 percent three weeks ago? In short: The Tea Party is falling in love with him.
CBS News reports Cain now has the support of 32 percent of all self-identified Tea Partiers, almost twice as many as any other Republican hopeful. Much of that support is likely coming from Tea Party castaway Rick Perry, who dropped from 30 percent support among the group only a month ago to 7 percent in the most recent poll.
The survey shows the Texas governor floundering in fifth place with 6 percent, and trailing Newt Gingrich (10 percent) and Ron Paul (8 percent.) Michele Bachmann has the support of 2 percent of Republicans, and Santorum and John Huntsman bring up the rear, each with one percent.