Days Cain Has Spent in Iowa Since Scandals Broke: Two

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 2 2011 9:19 AM

Days Cain Has Spent in Iowa Since Scandals Broke: Two

HILLSDALE, MI - NOVEMBER 29: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain delivers a speech about foreign policy at Hillsdale College November 29, 2011 in Hillsdale, Michigan. Earlier in the day Cain told staff members that he would be reassessing whether he should continue his bid for president, after a new accusation of an extended extramarital affair. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The Des Moines Register previews its definitive Iowa poll -- next edition on Saturday -- with some peals of doom for Herman Cain.

Cain is now at 8 percent among likely Republican caucusgoers, The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll shows. That’s down from 23 percent in late October.

The DSM poll that showed Cain surging appeared just one day before Politico broke the first story about Cain's sexual harassment allegations. According to the DSM's handy candidate tracker, Cain has spent... two days in Iowa since the scandal and the poll. Two. On November he held an event in Dubuque, and appeared at an office opening in Urbandale. On November 19, he appeared at the FAMiLY Leader forum. That was it. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich went to the state on seven days to hold eleven events. There's one model of recovery from a scandal, the one Bill Clinton used to grind out second place in New Hampshire in 1992. And then there's Cain. Deeper in the poll, there's evidence he missed whatever chance he had for a charm offensive.

Asked which candidate caucusgoers most want to see in person, Cain was at 22 percent in a two-day rolling average of Sunday and Monday polling. That fell to 8 percent for the Tuesday-Wednesday results.

Could Cain have built some level of trust with Iowa voters in the long period between the sexual harassment stories and the Ginger White mess? We'll never know. We know that he didn't try. Spending the week of scandals in Washington with a trip to New York to see Henry Kissinger might have been... well, I hesitate to say any one thing could have torpedoed a campaign that was never likely to succeed, but it didn't help.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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