The Poll That Says Cain is Surviving the Scandal? Don't Buy It.

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 4 2011 12:02 PM

The Poll That Says Cain is Surviving the Scandal? Don't Buy It.

You see this, elite media? You see this, after all your "analysis" of how bad the Cain campaign is handling its scandal? You see what happens in a poll conducted entirely after the scandal broke? (Inevitable disclaimer: National polls don't matter.)

Screen shot 2011-11-04 at 11.48.00 AM

From Jon Cohen's own interviews:

“I think [the charges against Cain are] mostly garbage that they throw at people who want to be president,” James Kindsch, from Middleton, Wis., said in a follow-up interview.
“I don’t believe it,” said Paul Bradley from Fishersville, Va., adding: “The further in the past they happened, the less accurate they are.”
In the poll, a majority of Republicans — 55 percent — see reports of Cain’s alleged misconduct as “not a serious matter,” and 70 percent say the situation makes no difference in their vote.

The trends from the last poll one month ago:

Mitt Romney - 25% (+0)
Herman Cain - 23% (+6)
Rick Perry - 14% (-3)
Newt Gingrich - 12% (+3)
Ron Paul - 9% (+0)
Michele Bachmann - 4% (-3)
Rick Santorum - 1% (-1)
Jon Huntsman - 1% (+0)

You can look at that and say that Cain is surviving. I choose to look at it and see the seeds of doom. Here's the actual breakdown for what GOP voters think.

Screen shot 2011-11-04 at 11.57.42 AM

To see why that's important, think of where Cain was before the scandal. There was no reason whatsoever for GOP voters to worry about him personally. Now there is. One-quarter of people say they are now thinking about choosing someone else.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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