11/11: Romney Edges GOP Contenders…Gingrich and Cain Battle for Second

November 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Election 2012, Featured, McClatchy-Marist

In this national McClatchy-Marist Poll, Newt Gingrich has joined the top tier of candidates vying for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.

hand casting ballot


Click Here for Complete November 11, 2011 USA McClatchy-Marist Poll Release and Tables

Among Republican and Republican leaning independents, here is how the contest stands:

  • 23% for Mitt Romney
  • 19% for Newt Gingrich
  • 17% for Herman Cain
  • 10% for Ron Paul
  • 8% for Rick Perry
  • 5% for Michele Bachmann
  • 1% for Jon Huntsman
  • 1% for Rick Santorum
  • 17% are undecided

“The race for the GOP nomination has taken yet another dramatic turn,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Now, the top tier is crowded as Newt Gingrich has taken his place alongside Mitt Romney and Herman Cain.  Could anyone imagine a more unsettled contest?”

The race is still very fluid.  Only 30% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents are firmly committed to their choice of candidate while 42% somewhat support their pick.  A notable 28% say they might cast their ballot for someone else.

When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in September, an identical 30% said they strongly supported their candidate while nearly four in ten — 39% — were somewhat in their candidate’s corner, and 31% thought they might change their mind.

Looking at the support of the top tier candidates, 43% of Gingrich’s backers say they are firmly committed to their choice of candidate.  This compares with 31% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents who are behind Cain and 30% of Romney’s supporters who have a similar level of support for their pick.

Table: 2012 Republican Presidential Primary

Table: Intensity of Support

Shared Values, Experience Most Important Candidate Qualities

33% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents think a candidate who shares their values is key when deciding who to support while 27% believe experience is most important.   About one in four Republicans and Republican leaning independents — 23% — say a candidate who is closest to them on the issues passes their litmus test while 13% believe electability is the most important quality a candidate should have.  Four percent are unsure.

There has been little change on this question since September.  At that time, 35% said shared values topped their list while 26% thought experience mattered most.  One in five — 20% — wanted a candidate who was closest to them on the issues, and 17% thought the ability to defeat President Obama was key.  Two percent, then, were unsure.

Key points:

  • 22% of those who believe shared values are key back Romney while 21% support Cain.
  • Among Republicans and Republican leaning independents who think experience matters most, Gingrich receives the backing of 25% compared with 20% for Romney.
  • Looking at Republicans and Republican leaning independents who favor a candidate who is closest to them on the issues, Romney receives the support of 28% while Gingrich takes 21%.
  • Romney garners the support of 26% who want a candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama in next year’s general election, and Gingrich is backed by 23% of these voters.

Table: Most Important Quality in a Republican Presidential Candidate

Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations, About Seven in Ten Want Cain to Stay in Race

What impact are the accusations of sexual harassment having on Cain’s candidacy?  69% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents don’t think Cain should drop out of the race while 22% believe he should.  Nine percent are unsure.

However, Cain’s reputation hasn’t been cleared in the court of public opinion.  While 29% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents believe Cain didn’t do anything wrong, 34% think he did something unethical but not illegal.  And, 11% go as far as to say his actions were against the law.  A notable 26% are unsure.

And, although nearly half — 48% — thinks the sexual harassment accusations lobbed at Cain are mostly being made to ruin his reputation, 28% believe they are based in fact.  24% are unsure.

Table: Should Herman Cain Drop Out of the Race?

Table: Views on Herman Cain’s Actions

Table: Motivation for the Sexual Harassment Accusations against Herman Cain

McClatchy-Marist Poll Methodology

McClatchy News Service article: Poll: Romney retakes lead in GOP race, Gingrich moves to second


45 Responses to “11/11: Romney Edges GOP Contenders…Gingrich and Cain Battle for Second”

  1. New Polls Show Perry Still Trailing Cain, Romney, Gingrich « Fort Worth News Feeds on November 11th, 2011 2:00 pm

    [...] a McClatchy-Marist poll, Cain fell behind Romney and [...]

  2. The Page by Mark Halperin | Gingrich Rises to Second in New McClatchy - Marist Poll on November 11th, 2011 3:11 pm

    [...] McClatchy-Marist national poll shows the Georgian surging to second among the GOP [...]

  3. Marist GOP Poll | 2012 President on November 11th, 2011 3:23 pm

    [...] New GOP poll from Marist: [...]

  4. Bellby McChicken on November 11th, 2011 3:28 pm

    How terrible is it that nearly half or Republicans are so quick to say that the harassment accusations against Cain are being made to “ruin his reputation.” How about the far more likely possibility that he’s a sleazeball who made unwanted advances on numerous women? Doesn’t that seem far more likely? Why haven’t any of the other candidates had numerous women make such accusations against them?

  5. Kevin on November 11th, 2011 7:24 pm


    Look at the 40+ year character record of Mr. Cain vs the character record of the accusers and you’ll see a glaring discrepancy. Not to mention that ZERO proof has been brought forward. If you believe the accusers over Mr. Cain you’re too negligent to be considered an informed voter.

  6. Lori on November 11th, 2011 7:34 pm

    Because Romney is a flip flopper and Newt has his own problems. Cain has the best chance against Obummer. @ of those women have close ties to the obama administration. At least 1 got a severance pay. That means she was fired,they broke HER contract, not the other way around. They had nothing to degradate him with. Only 1 says anything sexual happened, she has contact with David Axelrod who is an Obama adviser. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true.

  7. tnt4him on November 11th, 2011 7:50 pm

    I was thinking of voting for Cain because he is not a politician like Obama and understands the business world, unlike Obama. Now that I see Gingrich surging I see him much more knowledgeable than Cain and electable, even with the baggage. Who doesn’t have baggage?

  8. Anon on November 11th, 2011 7:57 pm

    Ron Paul 2012! The only person who will actually CHANGE America for the better!

  9. Bobby on November 11th, 2011 7:58 pm

    Well Belby,

    To date, not a single allegation has been proven. In fact, if you check the latest, the women are beginning to back away from this. The other candidates haven’t had to endure allegations of this nature because the left fears none of them. They do realize that Herman Cain will soundly beat Obama in the GA, so an effort is being made to shoot him down.

    While you are checking facts, also notice that at least two of the women had ties to the Obama administration.

    Herman Cain in 2012.

  10. Reality Check on November 11th, 2011 8:03 pm

    Cain and Newt are clearly the best alternatives to Romney.

    Who would be the best for President and who would most easily beat Obama is also an important question.

    Either way, Romney just can not seem to break 25% for more than a week at a time.

    Romney also appears slick but not inspiring in debates.

  11. Nelson T. on November 11th, 2011 8:13 pm

    No, Bellby McChicken, it’s not more likely. Do you have any evidence? Ever heard of due process? Seen any emails, text messages, written correspondence, heard any voice mails or other recordings? Gee, I wonder why not? It’s quite clear Cain is targeted for destruction. And you are falling into the trap.

  12. Nightsong on November 11th, 2011 8:25 pm

    It has always seemed to me that Cain is all show and likely hiding a lot of the real Cain. Whereas Romney, Gingrich, all those guys seem to be very much themselves and comfortable in being themselves. Cain has a long way to go and learn, we cannot afford a mistake this time around, and Cain would be that mistake, no doubt.

  13. Herman Munss on November 11th, 2011 8:58 pm

    How about we vote based on capability and integrity?

    Cain was a former Fed Chairman who said “We don’t need to audit the Federal Reserve.”

    Cain was pro-TARP.

    Cain has no foreign policy experience at ALL.

    *THIS* is the guy we want to put in charge of the country?

    I’m voting for the candidate that’s the head chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy. He also happens to serve on the committee of Foreign Affairs, and receives more donations from military personnel than all other candidates combined AND DOUBLED. He’s also the only military veteran up there.

  14. jessica Rayne on November 11th, 2011 8:59 pm

    Gingrich is the best choice, he will debate Obama like nobody else can, He is smart, knows the constitution, and loves this country. He has my support and my vote.

  15. Maria Erlinda Martinez on November 11th, 2011 9:15 pm

    Ha! A McClatchy-Marist poll? What about a Lenin-Mao poll, rather?

    The media militate in the hardcore Left…or at least the vast majority of them; hence their earnest in attempting to derail the only true grassroots conservatives in the Republican nomination slate –Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain– that would not only definitely beat the yogurt out of Obama at the polls on November 6, 2012, but also set an environment where true Americans can, not only rescue America from the jaws of the Left, but also restore her from Obama’s “…fundamentally transforming the United States”…into a socialist, if not worse, classical basket case.

    Furthermore, with their exuding vocation of servantship and statemanship, Bachmann-Cain are the only ones in the slate that can elevate America to unprecedentedly high heights.

    That’s why the Left is propping up sure-losers, such as Romney, who cannot even debate Obama on Obamacare, for the latter is patterned on Romneycare. Then Romney is a supporter of the manmade Global-Warming hoax. Romney is also weak on illegal immigration.

    As for Gingrich, he is an insider, and used to making “deals” with the Democrats the ones mainly culpable of the situation where they have pushed America to. Like Romney, Gingrich supports the manmade Global–Warming sham. Then there is the crass lack of resolve at a moment of crisis that led him to leave the House with the tail tucked between his hinds.

    Neither of Romney or Gingrich is connected idiosyncratically with the Tea Party movement at all; both are “too good” to walk along with the Tea Party movement people, whom they hubristically see as mere hoi polloi.

  16. John Chi on November 11th, 2011 9:25 pm

    I want to see Gary Johnson included in the debates and the polls, none of these candidates has really captured the hearts or is, frankly, electable. A successful governor of democrat-leaning NM who has balanced the budget, what better recipe for the situation we are in.

  17. Valer Enea on November 11th, 2011 9:53 pm

    Shameless that Belby McChicken (nice nickname), and those like her, would be quicker to judge Cain as guilty instead of innocent — particularly since she has no idea if the accusations are true. Maybe she would feel differently if she was accused publicly at work of being a slut, and until she proved herself not to be a slut, everyone would go around treating her like one. She might feel differently then. The truth might come out that Cain is indeed guilty of what the women accuse him of, and would deserve the label sleazeball. But if we belive we are a nation of noble people, we must act noble. A man has worked his entire life to build a good name for himself, and I owe it to him as a fellow human being to respect his dignity until it’s proven otherwise — whether I agree with his politics or can’t stand what he believes in.

  18. POLL: NEWT MOVES INTO SECOND | allfiredupmedia.com on November 11th, 2011 10:12 pm

    [...] McClatchy-Marist poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents finds that Mitt Romney’s poll numbers remain [...]

  19. Dan Fitzgerald on November 11th, 2011 10:19 pm

    Why did the poll report only show “intensity of support” for the top 3? Even folks who discount #4′s chances (can we say his name here?) have to agree that the intensity of his support is an interesting – and important – piece of news. He’s at 10% in this poll; is the GOP nominee going to win if a significant chunk of he-who–shan’t-be-named-without-a-denigrating-adjective’s support stays home or votes for a 3rd party? Heck, if Obama actually ends these wars by election day, I’d vote for him over Romney…

  20. jason on November 11th, 2011 10:25 pm

    Are you kidding me? So Newt goes from single digits to 19% overnight? It’s a miracle!! Gimme a break. Yet Hermain Cain has been tied and has been the GOP leader in many polls yet NO STORY FOR HERMAN. Only gutterball politics and a smear campaign.

    It wasn’t supposed to be this close. Damn Non-Politician. And he won’t fold either. SO. the media will try to marginalize him now touting “damage control” and “can he survive” stories. The “Mitt Fix” must prevail. The GOP-establishment’s fait’accompli nominee will continue to receive glowing stories. Most conservatives don’t want another moderate-RINO and therefore CAIN continues to do well despite the smear campaigns.

    BTW, GAWKER called this story 3 days ago telling it’s readers that soon articles would read “Gingrich surges.”

    No thanx, I’ll stick with Herman. If McRomney gets the nod, I’m staying home.

  21. con sam on November 11th, 2011 11:19 pm

    The other candidates will get their turn at the “unwanted advances” BS too, just give it time. It’s Obama’s MO. What I find amazing is the number of GOPers willing to fall for the political attack. Just ask yourself, did Mr. Cain suddenly become a pervert when he started working at the NRA? Why are there no harassment charges from any of the other places he worked? Something is fishy here about these charges .

  22. Brad Buffington on November 11th, 2011 11:20 pm

    Here in Iowa Santorum is much closer. In fact he is running with the top 3. I really wish more people would give him a better look! He is a solid match for where I stand, and a solid match where our party should stand!

  23. McClatchy/Marist Poll Sets Newt Gingrich in 2nd Place on November 12th, 2011 12:02 am

    [...] The poll concludes that “…although nearly half — 48% — thinks the sexual harassment accusations lobbed at Cain are mostly being made to ruin his reputation, 28% believe they are based in fact. 24% are unsure.”  MCCLATCHY/MARIST POLL [...]

  24. Rhyzoolie on November 12th, 2011 12:48 am

    Looks like it may be a newt and mitt show for 2012!

  25. Rhyzoolie on November 12th, 2011 12:51 am

    Hey McChicken, this is a typical ploy by the demonrats political handbook to falsely accuse someone in order to get some form of character assassination in the works. My problem with the whole affair, is why did they wait so long? Only after Cain became a serious contender and threat to master Obama did the stuf come crawling into the open!

  26. Polls: Gingrich Grows on GOP Voters » New York Liberty Report on November 12th, 2011 12:56 am

    [...] McClatchy-Marist poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents finds that Mitt Romney’s poll numbers remain [...]

  27. Stephen Brady on November 12th, 2011 1:05 am

    @Bellby McChicken
    Ah! The “where there’s smoke, there must be fire” fallacy …

    How likely do you think it is that a 65-year old man only became a “sleazeball” for a 2 1/2 year period of his life? There are no accusations against him prior to his Presidency of the NRA, and none after. Why did Ms. Bialek, who lived in the same apartment building as David Axelrod … a man who has used sexual harassment accusations to help Mr. Obama all through his political career .. come out with her graphic attacks on Mr. Cain 14 years after the “fact”?

    Also, by your “logic”, Bill Clinton is guilty of dozens of sexual offenses ranging from simple harassment to rape. Isn’t it likely that he’s “a sleazeball who made unwanted advances on numerous women? Doesn’t that seem far more likely?

    An accusation is not proof of anything, and multiple accusations mean nothing more than the fact that multiple accusations are being made. Nothing more. What ever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

    Cheers …

  28. Sandy Eggan on November 12th, 2011 2:27 am

    Well, Bellby I guess as Bill Clinton might have said, it depends on what your definition of sleazeball is? That who stands to gain from making Cain look like one?

    Just who is the sleazeball, Cain or Gloria Allred?

  29. Marc Richter on November 12th, 2011 2:47 am

    The reality is Romney will be the nominee in 2012 whether conservatives want him to be or not. I like Newt, but we all know he’s had one too many wives to be president and has a hard time keeping his mouth shut. Romney will sit back for the next couple of months and let Newt self-destruct like Bachman, Perry, and Cain before him.

    Obama v. Romney in 2012.

  30. John Bullard on November 12th, 2011 2:49 am

    Follow the mainstream media credo “whatever you do dont mention RON PAUL” !

  31. Republican debate in South Carolina tests Rick Perry and Herman Cain once again - funfitnfree.com on November 12th, 2011 7:09 am

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  32. Republican debate in South Carolina tests Rick Perry and Herman Cain once again | Rick Perry on November 12th, 2011 7:25 am

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  33. Gingrich Now In Second Place Among GOP Voters on November 12th, 2011 7:58 am

    [...] Two polls out yesterday show that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gaining traction. In a McClatchy-Marist Poll Gingrich comes in a strong second behind former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney who has been having [...]

  34. the sandman on November 12th, 2011 10:22 am

    Once the GOP candidates coalesce behind a single candidate, the numbers against the Oturd will be astonishing, providing that Mittens ISNT the candidate. I guess the RINOS still refuse to learn from Bob Dole and John McShame.

  35. Dave on November 12th, 2011 10:32 am

    @ Bellby: Just think about it… If the Rep’s do elect Cain for the Rep. candidate then that would take the race card out of the picture for the Democrats. They would not have a leg to stand on in the race of 2012. It has been said all along that it is not Obama’s color that people do not like it is his Socialist ways and him and his crew destroying America. You need to do some research on the background of these women. You may not like Ann but you should read what she has uncovered about David Axelrod and his connection to this… http://www.anncoulter.com/

  36. M. J. von Shrum on November 12th, 2011 5:26 pm

    I will vote for a Christian (preferably an Evangelical Christian). Who knows that Rick Perry and Herman Cain are the only two who served their country in the military. Isn’t that worth something??

  37. Newt Is Gaining Momentum | Ian Kelly on November 12th, 2011 6:32 pm

    [...] Marist Poll: Among Republican and Republican leaning independents, here is how the contest [...]

  38. Republican debate in South Carolina tests Rick Perry and Herman Cain once again | ZT News Today on November 12th, 2011 9:02 pm

    [...] McClatchy-Marist poll also showed a surge for Gingrich, placing him at 19 [...]

  39. KCJ on November 13th, 2011 12:20 pm

    Bellby, Maybe the accusations are true, but maybe its the left attempting to sully a person that would split the Black vote. After all the left can’t pull out their favorite card in the hole (The Race Card) if Mr. Cain is the candidate.

  40. randycrow on November 13th, 2011 12:27 pm

    Newt in second place is proof polls are either rigged or meaningless. This entire Republican primary strikes me as fantasy. A guy who has never held office in a dash for first place? Makes about as much sense as Obama 2008. I wouldn’t be surprised that Romney, Newt, Rick P and S are financed and in the race to throw the nomination to Cain. The Banksters got $ 13 Trillion 2008-2009. Why not spend a billion for entertainment that ends up with a president who gives the corporate welfare they don’t or can’t earn the American way, fairly? Remember the bottom line is oil prices that send the value of all currencies to zero. Currencies zero = equal people destitute and new world disorder slaves.

  41. Bob Grant on November 13th, 2011 1:54 pm

    Very often the appearance of impropriety holds more weight than the impropriety itself. Mr. Cain’s “locker room” off the cuff remarks may be an attempt an humor and in certain circles and circumstance might find a willing and amused audience. Witness his remarks about Anita Hill. While certainly not intended to be offensive, there is a subconscious thought process that brings his instant response of “Is she going to support me?” That was not a thoughtful answer, but probably a pretty good indicator of his true thinking.

  42. Greg on November 13th, 2011 3:23 pm

    maybe the political machine don’t like what they see in herman cain. he wants to change the way government runs itself. he is a supporter of the Fair Tax, that changes how the government controls people to get their money. thats why thay are attacking herman cain with these accusations. why didnt they bring them up in 2004 when cain was running for senate?,,why does 1 of the accusers work for the obama administrsation,,since 2010? i guess thats a coincidence. like they same coincidence as the blond lady living in rom emanuals building. and all the accusations coming from chicago,,where obama ans emanual are from? after this lokg,,they still havent proven anything. if they had something, they would have already proven it.

  43. Poll watcher: How popular is health care mandate? Gingrich up, Cain down and … | Reviews on November 14th, 2011 10:54 pm

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  45. McClatchy/Marist Poll Sets Newt Gingrich in 2nd Place | Liberty News Network on November 16th, 2012 4:44 pm

    [...] The poll concludes that “…although nearly half — 48% — thinks the sexual harassment accusations lobbed at Cain are mostly being made to ruin his reputation, 28% believe they are based in fact. 24% are unsure.”  MCCLATCHY/MARIST POLL [...]

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