Has Cain controversy hurt him in the polls?
November 4th, 2011
09:23 AM ET
11 years ago

Has Cain controversy hurt him in the polls?

Washington (CNN) - The first major national poll conducted since the reporting of sexual harassment allegations surrounding Herman Cain indicates that the Republican presidential candidate remains tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the top of the field in the race for the Republican nomination.

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday morning, 24% of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they support Romney, who's making his second bid for the White House with 23% backing Cain. Romney and Cain have been neck-and-neck in most major national surveys over the past month. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at 13%, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 12%, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who's making his third run for the presidency, is at 8%, and everyone else is in the lower single digits.

The survey indicates that seven in 10 Republicans say reports of allegations that Cain made unwanted advances towards two employees when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990's do not matter when it comes to choosing a candidate for the nomination. Cain calls the allegations fabricated and baseless.

But according to the poll, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO slips to third place among those respondents who say the charges are serious, and the survey indicates a gender gap, with GOP women significantly more than men saying the scandal makes them less likely to support Cain, a businessman and radio talk show host.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Monday through Thursday, entirely after Politico broke the story with a report Sunday evening. The survey was conducted by telephone, with 1,004 national adults, including 438 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP. The sampling error for GOP-only questions is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.

Also see:

Pro-Cain group attacks media over controversy

Perry: Our campaign didn't have anything to do with it

Lawyer for Cain accuser hopes to release statement Friday

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Polls
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    This poll shows me what the GOP/TP really think of family values. Not much.

    November 4, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. Republican who supports President Obama

    When the shady history of this man is compared to the President he would be trounced. Fact is that the 2008 campaign focused on President Obama's associations – the GOP could not find anything of real substance. Cain is not viable nor is Perry or Roomney – each of whom has huge baggage they are trying to ignore and hide. The truth is he will get some votes but in reality he should NEVER take office based on what he has done. He truly can't be relied upon to represent this country.

    It's his own fault. Take the hit and bow out.

    November 4, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Truth be told, I've never been interested in Herman Cain, as a presidential candidate or otherwise. Then again, I haven't been interested in any of the GOPer hopefuls. Except, perhaps, watching them all fall from grace - one after another. Until now, it was at least entertaining. Lately, though, it's become nothing more than a snooze fest.

    November 4, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. stevie

    I don`t think it`s hurt him at all. I sent his camp a check Tuesday.

    November 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. RINO Bil

    Ya think? Some allegations come forth about Cain's character and he totally screws up.

    He sputters, he denies it, he makes a formal statement, he suddenly remembers more details and changes his story, he offers lame excuses about why he changed his story, he attacts the press, he accuses another candidate's campaign of leaking the story to shift attention from himself, he retracts his accusation but doesn't bother to apologize to the person he unjustly accused ... etc., etc., etc.

    It is now at the point where the original story is a minor issue but how Cain handled the situation is a major one.

    How Cain fares in the polls is irrelevant, how he fares in the primary elections is not.

    November 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. diridi

    I do not care darn hoot about this illogical-contra.....o.k,

    November 4, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Mica

    I am not even a Republican but i think this is getting ridiculous.

    November 4, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. v_mag

    Republicans have to see that Cain's handling of this is inept, even if they think the charges are frivolous, fabricated, or unimportant. Cain is in the news daily for this, and it's not the kind of publicity he wants. He had 10 days to prepare for this to hit the fan, and he looked like he'd gotten blindsided by it. He still hasn't dealt with it, and the story is likely to continue until he is forced out of the race because it becomes the only thing about him that folks are interested in.

    Perry can't think on his feet, and Herman can't handle a controversy, even with ample warning. Newt is very old news and has lots of baggage. Bachmann and Santorum are too weird to ever win a general election. Ron Paul has run 3 times, getting the same small and vocal support each time. Huntsman has the Romney religion problem, but a lot less money and no traction. That leaves Romney, whom many evangelicals consider to be non-Christian.

    Things look increasingly bad for the GOP, which means the future is somewhat brighter for America!

    November 4, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Mr. Moderate

    Of course it won't hurt him. The right has built victimhood into a multimillion dollar industry (ie Sarah Palin). For years they have stoked the mythical vast left wing conspiracy and convinced millions of people that the reason the world is not the way they want is is because of those mean evil liberals and anything they don't want to believe is a fabrication by the left.

    November 4, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. carlos

    he is toast....no pun intended

    November 4, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    Some thing wrong with this poll , if you watch FOX more conservative women are defending Herman Cain

    Last two interview Rick Perry did well (FOX and CNN) he may come back

    November 4, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. ST

    I do think Cain is to knee down and thank god. He has been sweating, he has shown totally upset (no more fun) and still people support him. What he needs now is to take a long breath and organise his campaign in the right manner like any other campaign. He will make it if he can now make slight changes.

    November 4, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    No......but it likely will in the main election.

    November 4, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Christine

    I love watching the government news media especially MSDNC going crazy over these 'allegations' and making up their story of what happened! You talk about a bunch of clowns! Cain will come out of this stronger than ever!

    November 4, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. who r u..... who who..who who

    this guy got his 15min and then some...... Enough already !! REPUBS = GREED X's 10

    November 4, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. mike

    It's a smear job, in fact I'll vote for Cain now that I know that the media is trying to character assassinate him just like Palin and everyone else they don't like.

    November 4, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Bobbert

    Ron Paul is not at 8%. he is somewhere in the range of 40%. Why does the lame-stream media insist on publishing facke polls?

    November 4, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Glades2

    Not sure if it's hurt him but it's just another sign of our sick American society – 20 years ago (20 years, not 2) my physcology professor said at that time that our society seemed to be obsessed with the sexual, and how much worse it's gotten since then! If we continue this way our society will become like the Incas, Romans and others who had similar sexual obsessions – extinct...

    November 4, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. bobcat2u

    Herman Cain apeears to be a man who takes criticism very personally. This doesn't seem to be a good quality for someone seeking the position of POTUS. I can imagine the reaction if a another world leader takes a shot at him. He seems like a little man with a short fuse, and that would not bode well for peace considerations.

    November 4, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Ronald

    Can you say Toast!

    November 4, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Pa mom

    Most peopole will not change their opinion of this man and see the democrates smear campaign just as it is....more politics from the gutter!

    November 4, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Sonnie2

    So far Cain,s– GOOD- outweight,s The bad by 10 to one. Damm hard for any politician to beat a senerio like that. The libbers are just digging up crap and if they would get out of the dump when they search for someting they would have a much cleaner outlook on life. But then if you live in the gutter, that's usually all you know.

    November 4, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Pa mom

    Most peopole will not change their opinion of this man and see the democrates smear campaign just as it is....more politics from the gutter! Citizens realize it is time to have a business man with experience lead this country out of debt and control spending. We must end Obama's reign of destruction of what was a global leader.

    November 4, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. thomas

    He was never a real contender . People that like Clarence Thomas will still vote for him !

    Bad Pizza , Makes Bad Policy !
    Goog Bye Cain , Hello Perry .

    November 4, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Brownie2

    Yep, Cain and Thomas are cut from the same cloth...and I wouldn't use that cloth for anything but rags. Cain is lying through his teeth, and what is worse is that he thinks he has a right to lie. He is one of those people who thinks the rules don't apply to him and the republican party deserves his sorry, haughty behind.

    November 4, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |