Even after the flaws in his highly touted 9-9-9 tax plan have been relentlessly exposed and his confusing abortion stance noted, Herman Cain is still essentially tied with Mitt Romney in a new CBS/NY Times poll of Republican voters.
The survey, conducted from last Thursday through Monday put the former Godfathers' Pizza CEO at 25 percent with strong support of Tea Party voters behind that showing. Meanwhile the former Massachusetts governor came in at 21 percent. The margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points.
That result may say as much about how lukewarm to downright hostile many GOP voters are towards Romney as it does about how strong Republican support is for Cain.
The question remains, however, whether Cain will be able to capitalize on his surge in the polls. Unfortunately for the first African American to be able to lay claim to frontrunner status in a Republican presidential race, his lack of organizational strength and money suggests he will have great difficulty turning his political popularity in caucus and primary wins.
For Romney, the poll continues to underscore the challenges he faces in consolidating Republican support since the support Cain is now drawing can safely be interpreted as an anti-Romney vote. Many of these Republican voters may come around to Romney eventually but it clearly will be with a decided lack of enthusiasm.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, once the darling of Tea Party voters, continues to languish. The poll had his support registering at six percent, a far cry from the 23 percent he registered in mid September.