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November 08, 2011 12:37 AM UTC

Cain Accuser Comes Forward, Polls Say Republicans Don't Care

  • by: Colorado Pols

New York Times:

Sharon Bialek, accompanied by the celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, became the first woman to publicly accuse the presidential candidate of sexual harassment, saying that she wants to “give a voice” to other women who might have been harassed by Mr. Cain during his tenure at the association.

“I want you, Mr. Cain, to come clean,” Ms. Bialek, who said she was a Republican, told a packed news conference in New York City’s Friar Club. “Just admit what you did. Admit you were inappropriate to people, and then move forward.”

In a statement issued moments after the news conference started, Mr. Cain emphatically denied the accusation…

[S]he said Mr. Cain had secretly upgraded her hotel room before drinks and dinner that the two had to discuss possible future employment. She said that after dinner, he put his hand on her leg and ran it under her skirt and pulled her head toward his crotch.

“I was surprised and shocked and I said, what are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend,” Ms. Bialek recalled saying. “This is not what I came here for.”

“You want a job, right?” she said Mr. Cain responded…

Herman Cain responds:

“Activist celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain,” the statement said. “All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone. Fortunately the American people will not allow Mr. Cain’s bold ‘9-9-9 Plan’, clear foreign policy vision and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks.”

But does it matter? Los Angeles Times:

A new USA Today/Gallup survey shows Cain tied with Mitt Romney at 21% among a nationwide sample of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, an increase of 3% for Cain over the previous month’s survey. It’s also the sixth major public poll in a month showing Cain leading or statistically tied with Romney atop the GOP field.

Gallup found that 53% of Republicans believed the charges against Cain were untrue; 35% thought they were. Half of those surveyed said they were following the news of the allegations, initially attributed by Politico to unnamed women who worked for Cain when he lead the National Restaurant Association, very or somewhat closely. Slightly fewer — 45% — said he was doing a good job of responding to the claims.

“Cain thus appears to have largely survived the storm of news coverage of the sexual harassment charges for the time being,” Gallup’s Frank Newport writes, though he added it could change as a fourth accuser has come forward publicly with new claims of inappropriate conduct by Cain.

As the accusations of sexual harassment have grown around unlikely GOP presidential frontrunner Herman Cain, we’ve been genuinely surprised that his standing in GOP primary polls has improved, not declined, since the allegations surfaced. We still think that this story has everything needed to put Cain’s candidacy to bed, but–at least in the first few rounds of coverage–it hasn’t really made a difference, and has even provoked a sympathetic reaction from the conservative base. Within that we see a segment of the voting public who truly has been taught to ignore, or at least be skeptical of beyond rational justification, mainstream news.

Is it a saturation point for this kind of scandal? Can the same outrage that had people on both sides calling for Anthony Weiner’s resignation–or Bill Clinton’s–be turned off like a switch? Can a message machine be so good that one can wield double standards with total impunity?

It’s kind of a bigger question than Herman Cain.


26 thoughts on “Cain Accuser Comes Forward, Polls Say Republicans Don’t Care

  1. Cain’s unfavorables have doubled since he got into this race; that’s a big jump.

    Second, the Gallup poll was conducted yesterday, before the alleged victim gave her press statement today. The fact that she is a Republican and self proclaimed Tea Party member may also be noteworthy, particularly among Republican female voters.

    I’d like to see where he’s polling in a week and moreover, with Unaffiliateds and not just the choir.  

    1. his unfavorables have doubled in one month.

      But the percentage of voters who viewed him unfavorably has nearly doubled — from 18% in October to 35% in November. More Republican voters now view Cain unfavorably than favorably.

        1. I winced when I saw her standing next to Ms. Bialek. But what caught my attention is another lawyer of another alleged victim saying that her statement corroborates his victim’s statement. That gave me pause, in a big way.

          This is not going to go away. It reminds me of the Edwards scandal–every time he denied it, it just got bigger and bigger and more evidence leaked out until anyone left standing and defending him looked like an utter fool.  

  2. … but of those, many are probably like Rush: even if Cain did it, sex harassment law is just liberal garbage for suing employers and tarnishing the good names of conservative politicians.

    So if 35-39% of Repubs believe he did it, then what, maybe only half of those Repubs are actually troubled by it — and those half are probably the minority of moderate Repubs who like Romney’s (former) moderation. Those folks weren’t the right-wing 25% of the party voting Cain, nor the 50% of the party voting for the various wingnuts (Cain + Perry + Bachmann + Paul + Santorum).

    In short, the handful of Repubs (maybe 20%) who both believe AND are troubled by harassment allegations… well, they already weren’t voting for Cain, he of the platform, “get rid of the Muslims from big gummint.”

    1. demeaning a woman and making her a ward of the nanny state and harassing her.  Women and sex are synonymous with them and exercising power over women is considered a virtue.

      1. Cain’s alleged statement to her “you want a job, right? ” tells me what he’s all about. His inappropriate use of his perceived power to manipulate and control leads me to believe he is a Narcissist ( just like John Edwards and Tiger Woods) and is not fit for public office.  

          1. There is such a thing called “healthy narcissism”. To the degree the narcissistic behavior becomes pathological and destructive (therapists sometimes refer to Narcissistic Personality Disorder as Destructive Personality Disorder professional help is warranted.  

  3. The guy is guilty.  Period. But if you must, stack it in the 2nd segment.

    What’s happening in the global economy is now – the presidential primary and general election is in 2012.  

    1. and not change his story from hour to hour, then yes, I would be sick of hearing about this.

      But the fact that he has lied repeatedly goes to his character and also how he handles pressure/bad news/et al. The guy is running for President of the United States, not as a local county animal control officer so yeah, this story needs to be front and center.

      He’s not ready for primetime and his campaign’s response to this ongoing debacle proves it. And the New York Times is a good option if you want to read about more than just Herman Cain on a Monday.  

      1. Enjoy New York Times and other great papers in the morning (and afternoon additions).  My criticism is turning on the national news which tonight will have to flip a coin between Cain’s new accuser and Michael Jackson/Conrad Murray verdict.

        By the way, I do agree with you on Cain.  My disagreement is directed at the TV news and what they lead with more than the story itself.


        1. CNN is all Michael Jackson verdict and Herman Cain. Let’s not worry about Greece (and Italy which is a half a step away from being in the same boat)…who cares about inconsequential little things like a global depression when we can talk about sex and doctors overdosing their patients?

          I love the NY Times. I need to suck it up and buy a subscription because I burn through my 30 hits in like 2 days.  

          1. It is like a car wreck… you just can’t NOT look. But, yeah I have a sort of a “palin” kinda tired of hearing his voice.

            Let us allow Citizen Cain to fade into the Fox news talk show lineup. Or maybe the world is ready for his reality TV show.


            1. I do believe you are on to something with the reality show angle. Isn’t there where all has beens end up?

              Either that or “Dancing with the Stars…”

  4. but he won’t survive this…….he doesn’t get it. A netional figure cannot  buy off the press, or blackmail them. There are too many of them. You might get away with it in a single paper town, but not the national press. It isn’t away.If anything, more will come out of the shadows,  

    1. Many Republicans don’t believe the accusations. Many others think the accusations, if true, make Cain more awesome because they can’t understand why complimenting their secretaries’ tits is not cool anymore.

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