October 18, 2011 ( – Georgia Republican businessman Herman Cain leads U.S. President Barack Obama 43%-41% in a hypothetical 2012 matchup, according to a recent poll. Cain, who over the summer trailed Obama by 18%, is now the only Republican with a lead over the president, according to the Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters.

“We are delighted with the poll results. Mr. Cain’s message of common-sense solutions is clearly resonating with the American people,” said Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon.

In what would be the first presidential race between two African-American candidates, Cain is ahead of the president by 16% among seniors and by 19% among independents. He trails Obama among women, those under 40, and minorities, and attracts only 72% of the Republican vote, while Obama has 82% of the Democratic vote. His overall lead is, however, within the October 14-15 poll’s 3% margin of error.


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Tied with Cain in the race for the Republican presidential nomination at 29% support is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who currently trails the president 43%-41%. Romney has trailed Obama in five of the nine most recent Rasmussen polls.

Cain, who has been nicknamed the “Herminator,” is ahead of Romney in the early primary states of Iowa and South Carolina. Romney leads in New Hampshire and Florida.

The Georgia businessman is drawing large crowds at his appearances, including a crowd of 1,500 that showed up at an exhibition hall in the tiny Tennessee hamlet of Waverly, 65 miles west of Nashville recently.

In September, the Tea Party supporter shook up the Republican presidential landscape by unexpectedly winning a Florida straw poll.

Unlike other candidates like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, Cain’s stance on social issues has taken a backseat to his fiscal policy, the centerpiece of his campaign. Cain’s extensive business experience – he has served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, a trade group – has given him credentials as a possible candidate to help restore the economy to health.

Cain in June refused to sign a pro-life pledge authored by the Susan B. Anthony List, saying that the pledge’s wording was untenable for technical reasons. At the Values Voter Summit recently Cain said that he is opposed to abortion in all circumstances, “no exceptions.” Cain also refused to sign a pledge proposed by the National Organization for Marriage, but has repeatedly expressed his support for marriage as between a man and a woman on the campaign trail.