Me, on Wednesday:
I may be in the minority, but I don’t think Cain’s history of sexual harassment is going to hurt him at all with the GOP, and the insanity of the Republican party will really work to his favor in the short run, at least. Half of them have convinced themselves that this is just a liberal media hit job, and the rest of them think women are property, so I really don’t expect him to lose any support over this. If anything, in the short term, I expect him to gain ground. Wingnuts love crazy shit. It doesn’t matter if Cain has made any number of differing and contradictory statements about what happened, the fact that Cain is not handling this conventionally is all they need. They love a good show, and to them, Cain is fighting back! He’s not taking it! Plus, did you see him show them at the Press Club what he is made of when he broke into song?
The WaPo, today:
Businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are running nearly even atop the field of 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows, with most Republicans dismissing the harassment allegations that over the past week have roiled Cain’s campaign.
Seven in 10 Republicans say reports that Cain made unwanted advances toward two employees when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s — allegations which have been stiffly rebutted by Cain’s campaign — do not matter when it comes to picking a candidate.
But the potential threat to his burgeoning campaign is evident as well, with Cain slipping to third place among those who see the charges as serious, and Republican women significantly more likely than men to say the scandal makes them less apt to support Cain.
The poll was conducted Oct. 31 through Nov. 3, starting the evening after Politico first reported the harassment allegations. Support for Cain was basically steady over the four nights of interviewing, even as new charges against him surfaced.
Nearly a quarter of all Republicans and GOP-leaning independents now back Cain as the party’s nominee, his best showing in Post-ABC polls this year, and up significantly from early October. At 23 percent nationally, Cain is neck-and-neck with Romney (24 percent) atop the GOP field.
“I think [the charges against Cain are] mostly garbage that they throw at people who want to be president,” James Kindsch, from Middleton, Wis., said in a follow-up interview.
“I don’t believe it,” said Paul Bradley from Fishersville, Va., adding: “The further in the past they happened, the less accurate they are.”
In the poll, a majority of Republicans — 55 percent — see reports of Cain’s alleged misconduct as “not a serious matter,” and 70 percent say the situation makes no difference in their vote.
If the NY Times were to do a piece showing that Cain had murdered a dozen people in the 70’s, the response of most Republicans would be “Why is the liberal media waiting until now to bring this up? Clearly a hit job.” We’re dealing with crazy people.