Asked to name which candidate will win the nomination "regardless of who you support," 45 percent of likely Republican primary voters surveyed picked Romney, according to Gallup.
Romney's total surpassed the combined 35 percent support for other candidates in the race. Herman Cain was the only other candidate in double digits in the poll, attracting 13 percent support. Rick Perry received 9 percent—though the survey was taken before last night's debate flub.
Even a significant number of Cain supporters--38 percent--believe the nomination is Romney's to lose.
The Gallup survey comes as a series of new polls in key swing states find Romney statistically tied with President Obama in projected general election match-ups.
According to a Quinnipiac University Poll, Romney narrowly leads Obama in Florida—45 percent to 43 percent. But he narrowly trails in Ohio, with 42 percent to Obama's 45 percent, and Pennsylvania, 43 percent to 44 percent. The results are within each of the polls' margin of error, which is roughly plus or minus 3 percent.
But the Quinnipiac Poll still finds Romney trailing Cain for the Republican nomination in Florida (21 percent to Cain's 27 percent) and Ohio (21 percent to 25 percent). The two candidates are tied in Pennsylvania, with 17 percent support apiece.
Why is it so close in Pennsylvania? It appears that the accusations that Cain sexually harassed four women during his time at the National Restaurant Association are starting to take a toll.
Just 41 percent say Cain is an "honest" man—compared to 50 percent who say the same about Romney. Meanwhile, Cain's favorable/unfavorable numbers are upside down. Just 28 percent view Cain favorably, compared to 35 percent who view him unfavorably. By comparison, 36 percent of Republicans in the state view Romney favorably.
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- Gallup poll