Washington pundits clearly have their favorite Republican nominee in Mitt Romney but polling suggests the contest is far from over.  Sorry Morning Joe panelists!

Over the weekend, Evolving Strategies polling company launched a national survey testing each of the three GOP frontrunners (Romney, Cain, and Perry) in a head-to-head match-up against President Obama. Poll respondents were asked to watch a video clip of President Obama speaking about the economy, followed by a video clip of Romney, Perry, or Cain speaking about the economy during the last Fox debate.

When Evolving Strategy analyzed their data, the results certainly show Romney has some distance to go before nailing it down.  In fact, the polling shows there’s some dissatisfaction with Romney as the establishment candidate.

On Perry:

  • Despite several bad debate performances by Perry in September, when respondents watched a clip of Perry he actually gained more support than any of the other candidates and beat Obama by 6-points, 42-36.

On Cain

  • Across all treatments, when asked to choose among the eight GOP candidates, Cain won handily with 28% of the vote, followed by Romney at 19% and Perry at 12%.
  •  When it comes to a general election, Cain barely edged out Obama 35-34, but he moved from 5-points down in the control group with the generic Republican to 1-point up. And this jump came entirely out of Obama’s margin of the vote. It’s clear a lot of uncertainty remains in the general population about Cain – for starters he doesn’t “look like” the stereotypical GOP candidate. And he certainly doesn’t have the typical political background. But despite all that, people seem willing to give him a look – and when they get a look at him, he’s running even with Obama. What will be interesting to see is whether all those uncertain votes become more certain about Herman Cain when they get to see more of him.