Today’s been the single biggest polling day in my estimation since the 2010 elections. Three major releases all containing interesting data. The third and most surprising of those comes from Fox News, which shows Herman Cain not just in third place, but taking a top-tier position usually held in recent weeks by Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul.
Facts: 364 Republican primary voters, phone survey with landline and mobile handling included. MoE 5.
As I said, Herman Cain has arrived. Mitt Romney gained one point from last month to lead at 23, Rick Perry notably lost 10 points to land at 19, and Herman Cain gained 11 to finish at 17. Newt Gingrich jumped up 8 points to round out the double figures candidates at 11.
What do these three big movers have in common? Rick Perry is beginning to get a reputation for poor debating, while Cain and Gingrich are getting comments that they debate well. Much as Tim Pawlenty crashed after he disappointed in a debate, giving away his support to Michele Bachmann who was ready, now it appears that Herman Cain appears viable to Perry supporters whose eyes are straying.
I want to start seeing favorability and unfavorability ratings for Romney, Perry, and Cain, stat. Cain, as Perry before him, will get heightened scrutiny now. Will he hold up, is the key question right now.