President Barack Obama's job-approval rating rose at the end of October, and Herman Cain has a lead in the Republican presidential primary, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll, released Wednesday.
The president's job-approval figures are up to 47 percent, a gain from Oct. 5 numbers which had him at 41 percent. Potential voters are split 47-49 on whether the Obama deserves reelection, an improvement on the previous poll showing a 54 percent saying he did not deserve a second term.
Cain leads the field of Republican candidates with 30 percent, followed by Mitt Romney at 23 percent, Newt Gingrich at 10 percent and Texas Governor Rick Perry at 8 percent. The remaining candidates all rest at or below 7 percent.
The poll was conducted Oct. 25-31, the tail end of which overlapped with a recent kerfuffle regarding sexual harassment allegations against Cain during his tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association, as well as allegations of illegal corporate funding of his campaign.
Obama's gain in approval figures represents the first significant jump after spending a prolonged period in the low 40s.
Short-Term Gain or Indicative of a Trend?
Whether this is a blip, perhaps because of the death of Moammar Gadhafi and the slight improvement in some of the economic numbers, or the beginning of a sustained upward move in his popularity isn't clear and won't be for some time, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Nevertheless, the movement allows the White House a sigh of relief, for the president's approval had been stuck in the low 40s for some time and even a temporary upward move is good news for the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The poll also showed the President having the upper hand in races against all of the Republican frontrunners, with a 50-40 lead over Cain, 47-42 against Romney and 52-36 over Perry.
While both Cain and Romney shared high likability ratings among American voters and particularly Republicans, voters said Cain does not have the knowledge and experience necessary to be a good president, at a rate of 41-29 percent. Republicans, however, said 54-26 percent that Cain does have the proper experience.
Cain's lead in the horse race is built on voters' positive views of him personally, but there are warning signs that his lack of political experience could make it difficult for him to eventually close the sale, Brown said.
Quinnipiac surveyed 2,294 registered voters, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1-percentage points.