New Hampshire: Romney Leads, Cain Gains
From the poll:
Cain’s emergence as a top tier candidate following a series of strong debate performances has developed into a major subtext of the 2012 campaign. He has earned an extremely positive public image rating with 62% of respondents saying they have a favorable opinion of him and only 25% saying they have an unfavorable opinion of him. That is second only to Gov. Romney who maintains a stellar image of 68% favorable / 22% unfavorable.That the Cain surge is coming largely at the expense of Perry is clear. Less clear is whether he can maintain it.
Cain has not campaigned much in New Hampshire recently, however, nor does he have an organized effort. In fact, without even a state office in New Hampshire it remains to be seen whether he can hold this momentum. It is important to note that in each of the last four months there have been different second place candidates and each has fallen due to different circumstances.
Apart from Cain, the candidate to see the most impressive gains is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. After months of being upside down, Gingrich has improved his image rating to even. He is viewed favorable and unfavorably by 45%. Two months ago, Gingrich was viewed unfavorably by a 2-to-1 margin.
The candidates’ image rating could be closely tied to the surprisingly consequential debates that have taken place this cycle. According to the Magellan survey, 48% of respondents who watched the recent Bloomberg-Washington Post debate in Hanover, NH say Romney delivered the strongest performance. Twenty-four percent said Cain did and 10% said Gingrich did.
No other candidate on the ballot has a positive image rating. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suffered the most precipitous decline in his image among the candidates. Two months ago he entered the race with more than twice as many voters saying they had a favorable opinion of him. Today only 19% of respondents view him favorably and two-thirds view him unfavorably.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65972.html#ixzz1aprgRLWE.