Herman Cain a player in Gallup poll

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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He’s still not known very well, but Herman Cain is polling with the big dogs now.

A Gallup poll released Thursday shows Cain, the former CEO of Godfathers Pizza who is running for president as a Republican, garnering 8 percent in a poll of current and potential GOP 2012 presidential candidates. It’s the first time he has been included in the poll.

That puts him in fifth place and ahead of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 6 percent, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 5 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 2 percent.

Cain’s profile has risen since the first Republican debate in South Carolina on Fox News. He has never held office, though he did lose a Republican race for the U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2004. Much of his support comes from Tea Party voters.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads at 17 percent, followed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 15 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 10 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich polls at 9 percent.