Businessman Herman Cain’s supporters are sticking with him despite allegations that he harassed female staffers while head of the National Restaurant Association. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll has Cain and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney essentially tied.
Romney now has the support of 24 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents while Cain is at 23 percent. Polling for the survey began Oct. 31, the evening after Politico reported the harassment allegations, and continued through Nov. 3.
The poll found that 7 in 10 Republicans says the reports do not matter in picking a candidate. However, the poll also showed the charges hold a danger for Cain’s campaign.
Some 37 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of GOP-leaning independents view the allegations as serious.
Among that group, Romney leads the Republican field with 31 percent and Cain slips to third behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Among Republican women, the situation makes them say they are less likely to vote for Cain by a margin of 25 percent to 12 percent.
The poll shows Perry with the support of 13 percent, down from a high in September of 29 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 12 percent.
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is at 8 percent; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., at 4 percent; and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. and former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., are both at 1 percent.
The Post noted that without the scandal, Cain might have polled higher. A Quinnipiac poll started before the scandal broke and ending the day after had Cain at 30 percent among registered voters up from 17 in October, the same number the Post-ABC poll found in early October. However, the new poll shows Cain’s support among registered voters at 23 percent.
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