Herman Cain and Mitt Romney top The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll, with the retired pizza executive edging the former Massachusetts governor 23 percent to 22 percent in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Cain has surged 13 percentage points since the first Iowa Poll of the caucus cycle, conducted in late June. His rise has come despite spending little time in Iowa recently, campaigning here just once since the Aug. 13 Iowa straw poll, where he placed fifth.
Likewise, Romney has campaigned in Iowa just three times this year, but he retains a core network of supporters from his near-constant presence in the state during his first presidential bid four years ago.
In the new poll, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas is the only other candidate in double digits, in third place with 12 percent.
The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 3. The Iowa Poll, a Register exclusive since 1943, is a much-watched indicator of how candidates are faring in the nation’s leadoff caucus state.