Poll: Romney may have the most to gain from Cain scandal

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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If the sexual harassment allegations against former pizza mogul Herman Cain turn out to be credible — or simply refuse to fade away — polling suggests that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stands the most to gain, the Washington Post reports.

While it’s too early to say what if any damage the allegations reported by Politico on Sunday will do to Cain’s campaign, they have the potential to shake up the race. Cain has been polling in first or second place for more than a month; if his campaign is unable to recover from the scandal, other candidates will try to attract his supporters before the primaries.

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll this month asked primary voters to name both their first and their second choices for president. According to the Post, the poll indicates that Romney would have the most to gain from a Cain implosion. With the former Godfather’s CEO out of the picture, Romney’s numbers jump from 23 percent support to 32 percent. That would mark the first time Romney picked up the support of more than 30 percent of primary voters and establish him as the sole front-runner for the nomination.

Texas Governor Rick Perry also stands to gain from the scandal should it pick up traction. Perry garnered the support of 16 percent of voters the when the poll was taken, a number that rises to 22 percent with Cain out of the running. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann would make more modest gains, picking up 4 points — Gingrich moving to 12 percent and Bachmann to 9 percent.

The poll was conducted October 6–10 among 336 Republican primary voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.35 percentage points.

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