Quinnipiac: Cain's Rise in Ohio 'Meteoric'

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is booming in the Buckeye State, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today.

The former top executive of Godfather's pizza and failed senate candidate in GA, is now topping his GOP rivals in the important general election battleground state of Ohio.

Perry leads the pack at 28 percent, with former Massachusetts governors Mitt Romney following at 23 percent, Congressman Ron Paul at 8 percent; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in fourth with 7 percent, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry tied at 4 percent. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum round out the bottom.

"Herman Cain's rise has been meteoric. He has increased his share of the vote among Ohio Republicans four times since Quinnipiac University's September 28 survey in which he registered 7 percent," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Gov. Mitt Romney hasn't moved and Rick Perry has fallen off a cliff, down to 4 percent from 20 percent."

While Ohio does not hold an early GOP primary election and therefore is not a kingmaker at this point, it is expected to be one of the most important swing states in 2012---one that went for President Obama in 2008.

However, this year the Obama campaign is facing a steeper climb to keep the state in the win column.

"Ohio voters are not happy with the president's performance and don't think he deserves a second term. But elections are about choices," said Brown. "At this point none of the Republicans are able to take advantage of these presidential negatives. The next year will determine if the GOP is able to nominate a candidate who can do so."

Obama's negative ratings are poor on his job approval rating among Ohio voters. However the President still defeats the chief GOP candidates, including Cain, and Romney.

According to the poll, Obama defeats Romney 45 to 41 percent, compared to Perry where it's 47 to 36 percent. Cain trails Obama 47 to 39 percent in today's trial heat. Romney however has a 43 to 36 percent margin among independent voters.

The Quinnipiac survey occurred between Oct. 17 to 23, with the university surveying 1,668 registered voters, including 542 GOP voters.