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Poll: Herman Cain weathering storm, still among GOP leaders

November 04, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais…)

Does Herman Cain have nine lives? His "9-9-9" plan was sharply criticized in the last GOP debate; his foreign policy statements are increasingly raising eyebrows. And of course, he's at the center of a media firestorm over the revelation of sexual harassment allegations made during his time leading the National Restaurant Assn.

And yet a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that Cain is statistically tied with Mitt Romney among Republican voters; his standing actually improved since last month.

The poll shows Romney at 25% among registered Republican voters, just ahead of Cain, who stands at 23%. Texas Gov. Rick Perry places third at 14%, followed closely by Newt Gingrich at 12%.

Romney's number is unchanged for three months; Cain jumped 6 points since the last survey in October.

A majority of Republican voters -- 55% -- say the reports that Cain made unwanted sexual advances on two female employees are "not serious," while 39% say they are serious. Sixty-nine percent say the situation makes no difference in their decision about the presidential race; 23% say they are less likely to vote for Cain and 4% actually said they are now more likely to back him.

But there are warning signs for Cain, the Post reported. Among the 39% who thought the situation was serious, Cain has slipped to third place. And Republican women were much more likely to say the charges would affect their vote than men.

The survey of 438 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents was conducted Monday through Thursday, and has a margin of error of 5.5%.

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