A new poll of the Republican Presidential Primary shows former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney ahead with 24 percent, but businessman Herman Cain only one point behind in a national survey. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is third with 13 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich fourth with 12. The rest of the field is in single digits.
The survey was conducted from October 31st to November 3rd, directly after an article appearing Politico detailing allegations of sexual harassment made against Cain while he was running the National Restaurant Association, which he has denied.
But it seems that many Republicans are waiting to see how the controversy plays out. From ABC:
Fifty-five percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they do not regard the allegation of sexual misconduct as a serious matter. But while 22 percent of Cain’s own supporters call it serious, that jumps to 44 percent among those who aren’t backing Cain. Among Romney’s supporters it’s similar, at 49 percent.
As noted, it makes a difference. Among all leaned Republicans, 69 percent say the controversy surrounding Cain does not make a difference in their vote; 23 percent say it makes them less likely to support him. That “less likely” number, however, shrinks to 3 percent among those who see it as not serious — but swells to 52 percent of those who do see it as a serious matter.