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.
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.