“Herman Cain accused by two women of inappropriate behavior.” With that headline, Politico lit a spark that has turned into a raging fire. But are GOP voters paying attention?
Not according to Gallup, which reported Monday that, “About half of Republicans are following the news stories about the sexual harassment allegations against Cain very or somewhat closely. This level of attention is lower than the average attention all Americans have paid to news stories Gallup has tracked over the last several decades.”
Perhaps that’s because Americans have chosen to focus on substance rather than sensationalism this election cycle. While a remarkably low percentage of Republicans are paying attention to the Cain allegations, swarms of viewers have turned their eyes elsewhere — to the GOP primary debates.
Ratings for debates are up across the board. Take, for instance, the last CNN debate. It raked in 5.5 million viewers, beating NBC primetime’s “The Biggest Loser,” which only garnered 5.2 million viewers. Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief, remarked, “We made ‘The Biggest Loser’ the biggest loser.” And the debates are becoming more popular over time. CNN has gained 2.3 million viewers since its first debate in June. Fox’s viewership has increased by 2.8 million since the channel’s May debate. Its September debate attracted 6.1 million viewers.
With the unemployment rate at 9%, it’s no wonder Republicans are focused on policies, proposal and plans to put our nation on the right track.
The Cain sexual harassment charges are newsworthy, but they should not be harped on relentlessly to the detriment of other news. The various jobs bills awaiting votes in the Senate, Fannie Mae’s request for $7.8 billion in additional bailout money and Obama’s decision to use executive orders to bypass Congress merit at least as much attention.
Despite the extensive news coverage of the Cain allegations, the latest Gallup poll shows Cain tied with Mitt Romney atop the GOP field. Is this because a majority of Republicans don’t believe the allegations to be true? Or is it because Americans care more about their hurting wallets and foreclosed homes than they do about what, at this point, are still merely allegations?
Our nation has too many pressing issues to be allotting an extraordinary percentage of news coverage to one man’s past. Sensationalism is entertaining, but substance is what matters.
Kayleigh McEnany is the founder of RealReaganConservative.com. She is a graduate of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and has studied at Oxford University.