Polls suggest Herman Cain losing support
Support for Cain among Republican primary voters has dropped sharply compared to his support before the late October revelations that he was accused of sexual harassment while head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, new polls suggest.
A new CNN/ORC international poll taken November 11-13 has Cain at 14 percent among Republicans - down from 25 percent in mid-October. Cain trails Mitt Romney (at 24 percent) and Newt Gingrich (22 percent) in that poll, and is within the margin of error of Rick Perry, who garners 12 percent support.
The CNN/ORC survey also showed Cain's unfavorable rating at 44 percent, vs. 29 percent favorable - a higher unfavorable rating than any GOP candidate other than Rick Perry, who was at 47 percent unfavorable. Cain was at just 10 percent unfavorable in that poll in June, though a majority of voters at that time said they had not heard of him.
Meanwhile, a new Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll, conducted November 6-9, suggests that Cain may have been particularly damaged by the press conference one week ago involving Cain accuser Sharon Bialek, and attorney Gloria Allred. That press conference was widely covered and featured some of the first concrete details of allegations against him. (Allred plans another press conference featuring a witness to the alleged harassment Monday.)
As Politico points out, Cain won the support of 40 percent of Republican primary voters in the portion of the survey taken on Sunday, the day before the press conference. He was down to 22 percent on the Monday of the press conference, and had fallen to 19 percent by Wednesday.
Cain's biggest problem appears to be with women: In the Politico/George Washington poll, he was at 32 percent among men but just 21 percent among women. That matches the findings in the CBS News poll out Friday, which showed him falling from 28 percent support among female of Republican primary voters in late October to 15 percent among them last week. That poll also found that 30 percent of Republican primary voters say the allegations of sexual harassment make them less likely to back Cain, a figure that rises to 38 percent among women.
On Sunday night, Cain's wife Gloria took to Fox News to question the allegations, saying her husband "totally respects women."
Cain is still polling at or near the top in most polls. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey has him statistically tied atop the GOP field with Romney, while a Kellyanne Conway's Polling Company shows Cain tied with Gingrich as the top choice of Iowa Republican voters, with 20 percent support.
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