|Herman Cain Source: HermanCain.com|
In light of yet another woman coming forward and accusing Herman Cain of infidelity and a 13 year romantic extra-marital relationship, Cain is considering dropping out of the GOP race. Or to put it more politely, he is 'reassessing his candidacy."
CNN is citing a top campaign official as saying that they will determine whether or not he's dropping out when they see how these latest allegations affect the fund-raising. (My words, not theirs.)
According to the NY Times, Cain "said that he had not lost his enthusiasm to run, but suggested it was a distraction that could be difficult to recover from."
Cain has denied all allegations of the relationship (and of all the other sexual misconduct accusations). However, he did tell his staff Tuesday that the accuser Ginger White was "a friend and he helped her financially but that nothing inappropriate took place."
“It’s also taken a toll on my wife and family, as you would imagine,” Cain said in a call to the National Review where he broke the news.“For some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent. And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.”
Of course, we're now up to five different accusations or allegations of marital infidelity by Cain. What's that old saying? Where there's smoke there's fire? One accusation, maybe even two, would be suspect. But five? And especially when the fifth one is producing financial and phone records to prove the relationship? Reminds me of another old cliche, "caught red-handed."
But of course, the real question is who will benefit if Cain drops out? Who will get his supporters? You better believe the campaigns are all kicking it into high gear right now to come up with that strategy. If you look at the polls over the past 3 weeks, you will notice that Cain was declining at nearly the same rate as Newt Gingrich was rising. So it is quite conceivable that if Cain drops out, we'll see another Gingrich surge. But my gut doesn't agree with that. Gingrich already soared by attracting the people who were on the Cain bandwagon. They were not necessarily all that supportive or informed about Cain, and then when Gingrich started to look good, they jumped ship.
I think the real question is what was it about Cain that attracted people to him in the first place? Other than his 9-9-9 plan, he's not all that different from the other candidates, but brings a side of pizza. He was an anti-candidate if you will. He was exciting for not having the same style as the other suits on stage. I think that is what drew in his supporters. If his supporters are still looking for the big business smarts, they will go to Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman. Or if they are just bandwagon types, we'll see them go over to Gingrich because he's the exciting flavor of the month right now. If his supporters are jaded and burned out over the extra-marital affairs issues I think they will go over to anyone but Gingrich.
No matter who the supporters go to, we're talking about a completely different horse race in just a matter of days. Nationally, Cain is pulling in at 15%, and in Iowa he is in second place with 17.7% of the votes. Considering he's only 4-8% behind Gingrich in most polls, and just behind or nearly even with Romney in most cases, that 15% can really change everything. If Cain comes out and throws his weight behind a candidate, we'll see huge things happen fast. But if he withdraws and doesn't back another candidate, it may be a few weeks before things really materialize.
Only 5 weeks till Iowa, and 6 weeks till New Hampshire. Let the games really begin!