Sure, Herman Cain is accused of sexually harassing at least five women while he was the head of a restaurant trade association, but he's America's top GOP contender for the 2012 election! A new CBS poll shows that he's got 18% of Republican suport, versus 15% for Mitt Romney and 15% for Newt Gingrich. Of course, 17% of those polled are undecided, but America loves a businessman and "9-9-9", right? Well....
CBS News offers some more details about Cain's support: "In a new CBS News Poll, 61 percent of Republican primary voters say the sexual harassment accusations against Cain won't make any difference in their vote, but 30 percent say the charges make them less likely to back him, and that rises to 38 percent among women. Cain has lost support among women since last month - from 28 percent in October to 15 percent now. He has lost ground with conservatives and Tea Party supporters as well."
This news comes as Cain's new lawyer, Lin Wood, has warned any potential women accusing Cain of sexual harassment to "think twice" before going public. Gloria Allred, who represents accuser Sharon Bialek, told the NY Times, "[Cain]'s got millions of dollars to spend on investigators, high priced attorneys, P.R. people, political operatives, you name it, he can spend it to get what he needs to basically get the high-priced weapons of war ready and aimed at our clients. The women we represent don’t have those kinds of resources, and that makes their willingness to speak out all the more heroic."
Slate legal columnist Dahlia Lithwick, who said that Cain's conservative defenders are basically denying the existence of sexual harassment, appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program to discuss Cain's bizarre approach:
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Of course, the Cain Train doesn't care about respecting women! He went from calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "Princess Nancy" at Wednesday's debate to riffing on Anita Hill yesterday, jokingly asking a supporter, "Is she going to endorse me?"
Salon's Iris Camron has a Daily News op-ed about the troubling attitude of conservatives towards the Cain accusers: "Rush Limbaugh slurped as he pronounced Bialek’s name 'buy-a-lick,' and on Fox News, Dick Morris wondered when a Playboy spread would come. New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser devoted line after line to her appearance, accused her of having 'flirted like a tart' with Cain and declared that 'the gold rush is on,' despite there being no evidence that Bialek has been paid by anyone."