Cain leads Republican field in NBC/WSJ poll

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Businessman Herman Cain now  leads the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination,  while former front-runner Rick Perry has dropped to third,  according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released yesterday.

Herman Cain

Cain, who has never held elective office, was the first  choice of 27 percent of Republican voters, followed by former  Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 23 percent and Perry at  16 percent, the poll found.

The Texas governor’s support fell from 38 percent in the  previous poll in late August. In the earlier poll, Cain was at  only 5 percent and Romney was at 23 percent.

After entering the race on Aug. 13, Perry soared to the top  of the field of candidates vying to challenge Democratic  President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election. His  support began sliding after his initial performances in  Republican debates and Cain’s upset victory in the Florida  straw poll last month.

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