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Poll: Iowa's GOP Voters Fleeing Herman Cain; Others Still In His Corner

Herman Cain leaving the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper after meeting with its editorial board, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.
Jim Cole
Herman Cain leaving the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper after meeting with its editorial board, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.

Whether Herman Cain is leaning towards staying in or leaving the contest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Iowa voters are trying to help him reach a decision by abandoning him.

A new Des Moines Register poll found Cain falling to the eight percent support from 23 percent in October. The poll came on the same day that Cain was seeing his wife in person for the first time since Ginger White revealed said she had a 13-year sexual relationship. Cain has denied White's claim, just as he has denied charges of sexual harassment.

The poll also had a telling question about scandal, asking those surveyed how likely they thought it was that one Republican candidate or another would have a White House scandal as president.

The percentage who said a Cain White House would have a scandal rose to 47 percent from 25 percent. That topped all the candidates.

Similarly, Cain also had the dubious achievement of having the largest percentage of those polled say that he knew the least of all the candidates.

Numbers like these, as well as the fact that his fundraising has dried up, are among the reasons Cain is "reassessing" whether his campaign can go forward.

On Friday, Cain's campaign was trying to keep a brave face. It emailed the following news release:

"We are confirming that it is still full steam ahead for the Cain Train with the Grand Opening Celebration and Open House for the Herman Cain 2012 State of Georgia campaign headquarters. The event is scheduled for Saturday, December 3, 2011 from 11am-2pm at 3700 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30340. Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain has also confirmed that he will be at the event.

"The American people are going to raise some Cain in 2012," said Herman Cain. "The media would want you to believe that we can't do this. Well, the American people have a different idea."

The Iowa poll is a reminder for that Cain still has some level of support though it's now in the single digits.

Another reminder that he has some support out there is found on his website's "Women for Herman Cain" page. It just so happens that Gloria Cain, wife of the former Godfather's Pizza CEO, is national chair of WFHC.

Here's an example of the love that's out there for the man:

"I truly believe THEHermanCain is exactly what America needs now. I appreciate that he speaks from his heart, has a plan for success, and is NOT a slick TV personality or debater. I worry that if the media succeeds in their "assassination by innuendo" it could be the end of our Republic."

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Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.