Romney Reclaims Front-Runner Status

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reclaimed his front runner status in the Republican presidential race this week, taking a lead of five percentage points in a national poll released on Thursday.

Romney leads all GOP candidates in the latest Pew Research survey at 22%. He's followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas), who received 17%, 13% and 12% of the vote respectively.

The GOP presidential poll was based on responses among 876 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters from Sept. 22 through Oct. 4.

Pew pointed out that there were substantial swings in regional support for the different candidates with Perry grabbing the Midwest and West, Romney in the Northeast and Cain with broad appeal more in the South than anywhere else.

Romney drew a statistical tie with Cain in a CBS News poll that was released on Wednesday, with each candidate at 17%.

But an ABC News/Washington Post survey on Tuesday showed Romney at 25% of the vote, which was eight percentage points ahead of Cain and Perry. Quinnipiac also released a 2012 Republican presidential nomination poll on Tuesday that had Romney in the lead at 22%, up by five percentage points on Cain.

The field will return to the national spotlight on Oct. 11 for a GOP debate at Dartmouth College in the key battleground state of New Hampshire.

--Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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