A Vanderbilt University poll has found that while Herman Cain favored in Tennessee for the March 6 presidential Republican primary, the candidate’s popularity among female voters is significantly less.
The poll, conducted by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University, found Cain was the choice of 22 percent of 823 likely primary voters polled Oct. 28 through Nov. 5. Sexual harassment claims against Cain arose during the survey.
Results showed Cain’s support did not change much as the story unfolded. Cain beat his closest competitor, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, by eight percentage points, but the actual winner of the primary was “undeci,” according to a release from the university.
“Two things are clear from this poll,” said John Geer, distinguished professor of Political Science and co-director of the poll. “First, none of the candidates are wildly popular in the state. Second, Cain draws disproportionate support from males.”
Male voters supported Cain over Romney 27.1 percent to 12 percent, while women preferred Cain just 15.4 percent to Romney’s 13 percent, which is within the poll’s plus or minus 2.6 percent error rate.
The poll, conducted according to the standards of the American Association of Public Opinion Research, was weighted to ensure that the sample was representative of Tennessee in terms of age, gender, education, region and race/ethnicity.
Data from the poll can be found here.
Following Cain and Romney were Texas Gov. Rick Perry (9 percent), U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (all with 6 percent) and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (1 percent). The largest number of respondents, 28 percent, have not settled on a particular candidate.
The poll also revealed Romney and Cain as strong potential opponents for President Barack Obama in the November general election. Romney was the most serious threat to Obama, leading 42 to 28 percent. Cain would narrowly defeat Obama, but a race against Perry is considered nearly a dead heat.