Monday, October 31, 2011
Happy Halloween, Herman!
On the eve of All Hallows Day (a holy day of obligation), Herman Cain has received some good news and some bad news.
First the good news. The University of Texas/Texas Tribune has just released a new poll of registered Republican voters that has Cain and Perry in a statistical dead heat among Texas Republicans. Cain actually out-polled Perry, the favorite son, 27% to 26%.
So Perry only garnered about a quarter of the preference votes in his own home state. More significant however than that for the 2012 presidential race is that in Texas, which has the largest block of electoral votes among red states, Mitt Romney, the GOP establishment candidate, was preferred by less than ten percent of the voters polled.
You would look at the results for Bachmann and Santorum and ask yourself if this polling should be an eye-opener for their campaigns, suggesting that they might want to consider dropping out, given their recent abysmal polling results in Texas and elsewhere.
But that is where today's bad news for Cain comes in. Politico, the left-leaning political web site is reporting today on its investigation into whether Herman Cain was the target of multiple sexual harassment complaints while he served as the CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the late 90's. So far, Cain's campaign has issued only very vague statements on the allegations ("Old news." "Private personnel matters." "Fully resolved."). So if you are Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum, and you have been losing support among the far right, the Tea Party and evangelical voters, you may say to yourself that you should hang in the race and see if Cain self-destructs, and you can shift his current support into your camp. The extreme volatility of the polling numbers so far would support that kind of "Dum Spiro Spero" approach.
The sexual harassment issue was not addressed on Face the Nation yesterday when Cain appeared. He can be expect to be asked directly about it the next time he is interviewed live on TV. Perhaps it will be dismissed by him, without actually recycling the term, as some sort of a liberal media "high tech lynching." Which, it may in fact be.