Griper Blade: Despite Scandal, Cain Rising Among GOP Voters

Someplace, Democratic strategists are planning a party. Herman Cain's sexual harassment scandal has not hurt him with GOP voters and he continues to rise in the polls. Those are the findings of Washington Post/ABC News poll out 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.

Beautiful. Of course, it's not all smooth sailing for Cain. "[T]he 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 report continues.

This is the first poll taken after the scandal broke -- "Oct. 31 through Nov. 3, starting the evening after Politico first reported the harassment allegations," the report tells us -- but the breaking scandal didn't seem to affect support. "Support for Cain was basically steady over the four nights of interviewing," it continues, "even as new charges against him surfaced."

GOP voters aren't even taking Cain's misconduct -- or possible crime -- seriously. 55% believe the whole thing is "not a serious matter" and 70% say it won't affect their vote.

"I think [the charges against Cain are] mostly garbage that they throw at people who want to be president," explained one respondent. "I don’t believe it," said another. "The further in the past they happened, the less accurate they are."

But will general election voters be so magnanimous -- and does it matter?

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This is Herman Cain vs. President Obama in a head-to-head match-up. I'm not a big fan of polling averages, where one bad apple does spoil the whole bunch, but this shows Herman Cain winning no poll against Obama. Polls are merely snapshots of a moment of time, but the trend shows Cain never beating Obama -- or even coming close:

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The threat is Mitt Romney:

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Sure, Romney's in a nosedive now, but he's dropped to a whopping 1.9 average behind Obama.

Romney doesn't meet the wingnut's profile of a hero, however. That would be someone like Sarah Palin. Palin was dumb as a stump, constantly blundering into gaffes, but she spun accurate reporting into personal attacks. The media was out to get her and she was standing tall against their unfair treatment of her. She was a hero simply because she said she was a hero. She turned out to be a fad and GOP voters finally caught on that her focus was on celebrity, not America -- but that fad lasted quite some time. Years, in fact. Herman Cain only has to be the action hero of the moment until the GOP nomination is decided. Not very long at all.

If you're a GOP voter and you're confused about why some liberals are celebrating Cain's continued rise in the polls, don't sweat it. Just continue your hero worship and we'll see you next November.


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