An opinion poll found the Liberal Democrats were more likely to win back voters lost since the 2010 election if Mr Cable replaced Nick Clegg as leader.
According to an Ipsos/MORI survey, Mr Clegg remains marginally the more popular among those who say they will back the party in 2015 by 21% to 19%.
But of all those who did so in 2010, Mr Cable (29%) is considered more than twice as attractive as Mr Clegg (13%).
Among voters as a whole he is also twice as likely to win a Lib Dem vote by 12% to 6%.
That rises to 15% among Labour voters compared with 4% for Mr Clegg.
Ipsos/MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,006 adults across Britain by telephone between September 15-17.
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