Romney, weathering Perry storm, regains lead in presidential surveys

Mitt Romney appears to have weathered Rick Perry’s entry into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, with the former Massachusetts governor retaking the lead in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll and an average of surveys monitored by Real Clear Politics.

In an ABC/Post poll published today, Romney led the field with 25 percent, while Perry, the governor of Texas, and Georgia businessman Herman Cain were tied at 16 percent.

The findings represented a 13-point drop for Perry since September, and a 12-point rise for Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who has stirred audiences in recent debates.


The survey found US Representative Ron Paul as the only other candidate in double figures, at 11 percent.

The telephone poll was conducted Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. It carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for the entire survey, and 6 points for its work related Republicans and GOP-leaning independents.

The survey came after Perry was widely viewed to have faltered in the second consecutive candidate debate. His performance not only prompted a reevaluation of Romney, but also pressure on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to jump into the campaign.

Christie said today at a news conference in Trenton that he did not plan to run.

More broadly, Real Clear Politics showed Romney regaining the lead in an amalgam of polls that he had steadily carried until Perry jumped into the race.

All told, Romney was atop the GOP field by 0.3 percentage points. He also carried a four-point lead in a recent Fox News survey, though Perry still maintained a lead in other media polling.

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