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Republican no 2 a black businessman

world Updated: Oct 05, 2011 01:03 IST

After a quick rise in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas governor Rick Perry has experienced an almost equally dramatic decline, losing about half of his support over the past month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Now the most direct beneficiary of the disenchantment with Perry is businessman Herman Cain, who is now tied for second place.

Perry’s rapidly changing fortunes underscore the fluidity of the Republican race and the lingering dissatisfaction with the candidates.

Among announced candidates Mitt Romney leads with 25%, which is identical to his support from a month ago. Perry and Cain are tied for second with 16%, numbers representing a 13-point drop for Perry and a 12-point rise for Cain since early September.

Seventy per cent of those who saw the recent debates say the more they learn about Cain, the more they like him. Among tea party supporters, Cain’s support has surged from 5% to 30% in a month. The businessman, who scored a surprise win at the Florida straw poll, now has the edge among solid tea partyers.

The new poll may in some ways bolster Republican hopefulness in general.

Obama’s approval rating — while not significantly different from a month ago — is at a new career low, his disapproval number at a new high.

In all, 42% approve of the job he is doing, while 54% disapprove. Barely more than a third of independents give the president positive marks, as 60% now disapprove, a new high.

For the first time, fewer than half of moderates approve of the way Obama is handling his job.

In an exclusive partnership with The Washington Post. For additional content from The Washington Post, visit