The poll results released Sunday indicate the absence of Cain and Romney from Iowa hasn't hurt them so far, but they will need to invest more personal time in the state to translate their current popularity into success in the Jan. 3 party caucuses, The Des Moines Register reported Sunday.
The Iowa Poll indicated Georgia businessman Cain led the GOP field with 23 percent, followed by Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, with 22 percent.
The rest of the candidates were at least 10 percentage points behind Cain and Romney, results indicated, but 59 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers said they could switch to another candidate.
Results indicated Rep. Ron Paul of Texas drew 12 percent and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, winner of the Iowa Straw Poll during the summer, pulled 8 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were at 7 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania had 5 percent
Five percent said they'd back former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out after finishing third in the straw poll, and 12 percent would consider him their second choice. But 66 percent said it would not matter.
Results are based on telephone surveys of 400 likely Republican caucus-goers conducted Oct. 23-26. The margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.